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Results: Nov. 9 Survey on Superintendent Salary Caps
NJSBA Testifies in Support of Proposed Anti-Bully Bill
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72 Districts Apply to Join Interdistrict Choice Program
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Delegate Assembly Program
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School Law Forum
NJSBA Testifies in Support of
Proposed Anti-Bully Bill of Rights
On Monday, both the Senate and the Assembly Education Committees unanimously voted to release S-2392/A-3466, the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, for votes by the full Legislature.
NJSBA testified in support of the legislation. “The bill will protect students from harassment that would substantially interfere with their education,” Sharon Seyler, NJSBA’s legislative coordinator, said in her testimony. She also noted that NJSBA has been actively involved in the state’s anti-bullying commission, which has addressed many of the provisions in the bill.
The bill requires board members, teachers, principals and anti-bullying coordinators to receive training to properly address instances of harassment and discrimination, and requires incidences of bullying to be monitored and reported.
Seeking Improvements NJSBA is seeking several amendments to the bill:
- NJSBA believes the bill must provide immunity from prosecution for school officials in carrying out the responsibility to report incidences of bullying. As the legislation is now written, it would not prevent the parent of an accused bully from suing a board member or the district for reporting an incident which an investigation later showed did not constitute harassment.
- The legislation should allow for the delivery of training of school board members to take place through the state-required programs board members already complete, rather than a separate program. The bill should clarify and provide guidance to school officials on procedures that are necessary when an incident occurs off campus and during non-school hours.
- In order to protect student privacy, the legislation should clarify that discussions of a bullying incident during a school board meeting should take place during executive session. This bill should include an amendment to the Open Public Meetings Act making that possible.
NJSBA believes that these amendments will enhance the legislation and enable local boards of education to attain the sponsors’ goal of protecting our children from bullying and harassment.