New Jersey has some of the best schools in the country. According to U.S. News and World Report, New Jersey ranks second in the USA for education on all levels. It is also one of the most progressive states when it comes to granting and implementing equal rights to New Jersey students.
Safeguards against harassment, intimidation, and bullying are at the forefront of our legislation. The New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, one of the toughest laws in America, recognizes bullying to be a serious problem and has encouraged students, staff and parents to report instances of harassment, intimidation, and or bullying while at school and/or while involved in school-related activities.
Voorhees, NJ Student Protection Lawyer Fights for Victims of Bullying in Camden County Schools
The New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights was enacted in 2010, and with bipartisan support, signed into law in 2011. The newly enacted provisions were actually amending a prior statute originally enacted to prevent harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) in public schools. There are now also guidelines within these laws to provide programs for support and awareness.
How Serious is Bullying in New Jersey Schools?
There was a large number of reported incidents the first year the law was implemented, “more than 35,000 reported incidents and 12,000 confirmed incidents,” according to NJSpotlight.com. That has gone down after better methods and definitions were followed. Sometimes the fear of attention prevents students from reporting these incidents and the not so good statistics stop schools from reporting them, as to not lower their rankings. Stuart Green, director of the New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, reported in nj.com that, “since New Jersey’s data is entirely self-reported by districts, the state can’t possibly paint an accurate picture of what’s happening in schools.”
The number of reported cases has steadily declined over the last four years, but it is not really known if this is due to the increase in training or the decrease in students reporting incidents. Unfortunately, the rate of violence has gone up significantly, higher than it has been in five years. Again, the reporting of violence may have improved, hence the higher totals.
The question remains: how to lower the numbers and perhaps find the source of these behaviors? That is not an easy feat, “Given that the Association for Psychological Science has found that bullies and victims are both more likely to experience poverty, academic failure, and job termination as adults.”
How to Prevent Bullying in New Jersey Schools
For children nowadays, captivated by social media, the ease and swiftness of bullying can be devastating. What can be done legally to prevent, or if begun, to discourage this from continuing? Here are some pointers:
- Actively listen to your child, every day, help them open up.
- Make a complaint to the school in writing, to the principal, with details, dates, and nature of the incident.
- Keep a record for yourself of details, responses from the school, statements from anyone witnessing the incident and the emotions your child felt.
- If there is a guidance counselor at your child’s school, speak with them.
- Check the policies in your schools Code of Conduct to make sure they are following procedure regarding bullying.
- If you believe the school is not doing what needs to be done to protect your child and provide a solution, contact an experienced attorney. Specialized attorneys can work with you to pursue legal claims when schools are not actively preventing these problems.
Contact an Experienced Camden County, NJ Education Lawyer Who Will Fight to Protect Your Child’s Rights
At Davis & Mendelson, we are passionate about protecting school children in Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Marlton and throughout Camden County, NJ. We know that whether the harassment is happening online, in school or in your neighborhood, bullying takes a severe and long-lasting toll on its victims. Being unfairly accused is equally detrimental.
Contact our office today for a consultation with experienced education advocacy lawyer, Mr. Howard Mendelson. He will take the time to listen to what is going on and will work tirelessly to protect your child every step of the way.
“Explainer: Tough Anti-Bullying Law Guides Schools in Dealing with Harassment.” Tough
Anti-Bullying Law Guides Schools in Dealing with Harassment – NJ Spotlight, www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/02/01/explainer-tough-anti-bullying-law-guides-schools-in-dealing-with-harassment-intimidation/.
Adam Clark and Erin Petenko | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. (2017, February 13). Bullying
down, violence up in N.J. schools, in latest state report. Retrieved March 05, 2018, from http://www.nj.com/education/2017/02/bullying_down_violence_up_in_nj_schools_state_says.html
Where You Live Could Determine If Your Kid Gets Bullied. (2017, May 08). Retrieved March
05, 2018, from https://www.fatherly.com/news/bullying-mapped-by-state/