Local educational agencies must revise their harassment, intimidation, and bullying policies and require the use of new incident reporting forms created by the New Jersey Department of Education as a result of P.L. 2022., c. 338, which amended New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act and was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 10.
The New Jersey Department of Education announced in an advisory that it has revised the Model Policy for Prohibiting HIB to reflect the amendments to the act. Included in the model policy is a description of a new requirement, where board of education members, school employees and volunteers and contracted service providers who have contact with students must submit a written report to the principal of a school using a numbered form developed by the NJDOE within two school days of being made aware of or witnessing any alleged acts of HIB. Consistent with before, investigations must be completed within 10 school days of a written report being submitted to the principal.
The HIB 338 form was developed in consultation with stakeholders and is designed to provide a consistent reporting form to be used by all LEAs and approved private schools for students with disabilities to report allegations of HIB. There are two versions of the HIB 338 form, one for LEA personnel and one for families and caregivers.
LEAs are required to incorporate these exact forms into their procedures for reporting allegations of HIB. Additionally, they must provide a means for a caregiver to complete the HIB 338 form online and confidentially.
The amended act also established a new position in the NJDOE: the school climate state coordinator, who will serve as a resource to parents, students and educators.
- LEAs must revise HIB policies to reflect the amendments to the act and submit a copy of their revised policy to their executive county superintendent of schools.
- LEAs are required to provide a link to the revised HIB policy and HIB 338 forms, and add the contact information for the NJDOE’s state school climate coordinator – email@example.com – on their website.
- Visit the NJDOE website to review the model policy and frequently asked questions.
NJDOE recognizes LEAs will need to change their HIB policies and procedures, including the use of new standardized reporting forms. Suggestions on how the NJDOE can improve upon the HIB 338 forms and/or support adhering to the amendments of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act may be sent to HIB338@doe.nj.gov by Jan. 13, 2023.