Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying Policy 

Princeton Public SchoolsBoard of Education Policy 5512
Abridged version for Middle School only

Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying N.J.S.A. 18A: 37 -14 “Harassment, intimidation or bullying,” N.J.S.A. 18A: 37 -14 means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds as provided for in this statue, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students and that:

  • takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds, as provided for in 18A:37-15.3, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other pupils; and that
  • a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property;
  • has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm.
  • "Electronic communication” means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.

Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Actions

The Board of Education requires its school administrators to implement procedures that ensure both the appropriate consequences and remedial responses for pupils who commit one or more acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The following factors, at a minimum, shall be given full consideration by school administrators in the implementation of appropriate consequences and remedial measure for each act of harassment, intimidation or bullying by pupils.

The consequences may include, but are not limited to, the following examples: admonishment, temporary removal from the classroom, deprivation of privileges, classroom or administrative detention, referral to disciplinarian, in-school suspension during the school week or the weekend, after-school programs, out-of-school suspension (short or longterm), reports to law enforcement or other legal action, expulsion, bans from providing services, participating in school district sponsored programs or being in school building or on school grounds.

The remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the following examples: restitution and restoration, peer support group, recommendation of pupil behavior or ethics council, correction instruction or other relevant learning or service experience, supportive pupil interventions, including participation of the Intervention and Referral Services Team, pursuant to N.J.A.C 6A:16-8, behavioral assessment or evaluation, including, but not limited to, a referral to the Child Study Team as appropriate, behavioral management plan with benchmarks that are closely monitored, assignment of leadership responsibilities, involvement of school disciplinarian, pupil counseling, parent conferences, modification of schedules, alternative education programs, pupil and/or treatment or therapy and involvement of law enforcement

Timeline for Investigation of Reports of HIB

Based on 2011 Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act

The Board Requires a thorough and complete investigations be conducted for each report of an alleged incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

School day 1: HIB occurs and/or employee learns of HIB. A verbal report must to be made to Principal, who must inform parents/guardians “of all students involved.”

By school day 2: Principal must initiate investigation by Anti-Bullying Specialist within one school day of report; may appoint other to assist.

By school day 3: Written report to Principal to be made within 2 days of when employee witnessed or received information that a student experienced HIB.

By school day 11: Investigation complete (by 10 school days from written report).

By school day 13: Results of investigation must be given to the Superintendent within 2 school days of completing the investigation. Superintendent may decide to take action (e.g., intervention services, training, discipline, counseling, etc.)

Report to Board: Superintendent must report to the Board of Education at the next Board meeting following the completion of the investigation.

Report to parent/guardian: District must provide “information about the investigation to parents/guardians of students who are parties to the investigation” and findings within 5 school days after the investigation results are given to the Board. Information included is: nature of the investigation, whether evidence of HIB was found, whether discipline was imposed or services provided to address the HIB.

Board Hearing: Parent may request confidential hearing before the Board of Education, which must occur within 10 calendar days of the request.

Board Decision: Board must issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject or modify the Superintendent’s decision, at the next Board meeting following receipt of report. Board’s decision may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education within 90 calendar days.

Civil Rights Complaint: Parents may file a complaint with the NJ Division on Civil Rights within 180 calendar days of incident, or in State or Federal courts.

ECS Investigation: Executive County Superintendent shall investigate a complaint of a violation by a school District when the complaint is not adequately addressed on the local level.