The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) has added two policies to the Critical Policy Reference Manual (CPRM):4111.2 and 4211.2 Domestic Violence (standards are the same for certified and noncertified staff); and 5145.7 Gender Identity and Expression.

4111.2 and 4211.2 Domestic Violence (Mandated)

N.J.S.A. 11A:2-6a (P.L. 2017, c. 272) requires all public employers to adopt a domestic violence policy and distribute it to all employees. This requirement exists whether or not the district or charter school is a Civil Service jurisdiction. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) will distribute this policy in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Office of Local Government Services (LGS). Updates to this policy will be distributed via Local Finance Notices when deemed necessary by the CSC.

The law requires the Civil Service Commission to develop a uniform domestic violence policy that includes:

  1. A declaration encouraging employees who are victims of domestic violence to contact their human resources officer and seek assistance;
  2. A confidential method for employees to report domestic violence incidents to human resources officers;
  3. A confidentiality policy to which human resources officers receiving reports of domestic violence must adhere, unless a domestic violence incident poses an emergent danger to employees and the involvement of law enforcement is necessary;
  4. A listing of available State and local resources, support services, treatment options, advocacy and legal services, medical and counseling services, and law enforcement assistance services for domestic violence victims;
  5. A requirement that an employee’s records pertaining to a domestic violence incident or domestic violence counseling be kept separate from the employee’s other personnel records;
  6. An explanation of the requirements of the “New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act;” and
  7. A requirement for the public employer to develop a plan to identify, respond to, and correct employee performance issues that may be caused by a domestic violence incident.

While awaiting the Civil Service Commission uniformed policy, NJSBA has published this policy on domestic violence for districts and charter schools to use.  The NJSBA policy will be reviewed and amended if necessary when the uniformed CSC policy is released.

5145.7 Gender Identity and Expression (Critical for Other Reasons)

This policy has been added in response to the comprehensive framework issued by the New Jersey Department of Education on September 27, 2018 concerning policy considerations for transgender and gender nonconforming students.  While transgender and gender nonconforming students are entitled to all the protections under the Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A.  10:5-1 etseq.), there are unique considerations to ensure that districts and charter schools create an inclusive environment where these students feel safe and supported.  These considerations include but are not limited to bathroom and locker accommodations, participation in extracurricular activities and sports, bullying, resources and support for students and families, student records and confidentiality.  Policy should also direct that appropriate staff development is provided on the implementation of the policy and as needed, targeted toward the needs of individual students.

You may directly download these policies and legal references from the Critical Policy Reference Manual (CPRM) district or charter versions or the Policy Update List on your password protected Policy Resources webpage at www.njsba.org.  You may also contact a policy consultant at (609)278-5268 or email: Jean Harkness at [email protected] or Steve McGettigan, Policy Manager at [email protected].