2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:37-13.1 - Findings, declarations relative to school bullying.
18A:37-13.1 Findings, declarations relative to school bullying.
2.The Legislature finds and declares that:
a.A 2009 study by the United States Departments of Justice and Education, "Indicators of School Crime and Safety," reported that 32% of students aged 12 through 18 were bullied in the previous school year. The study reported that 25% of the responding public schools indicated that bullying was a daily or weekly problem;
b.A 2009 study by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance," reported that the percentage of students bullied in New Jersey is 1 percentage point higher than the national median;
c.In 2010, the chronic persistence of school bullying has led to student suicides across the country, including in New Jersey;
d.Significant research has emerged since New Jersey enacted its public school anti-bullying statute in 2002, and since the State amended that law in 2007 to include cyber-bullying and in 2008 to require each school district to post its anti-bullying policy on its website and distribute it annually to parents or guardians of students enrolled in the district;
e.School districts and their students, parents, teachers, principals, other school staff, and board of education members would benefit by the establishment of clearer standards on what constitutes harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and clearer standards on how to prevent, report, investigate, and respond to incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying;
f.It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this legislation to strengthen the standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating, and responding to incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying of students that occur in school and off school premises;
g.Fiscal responsibility requires New Jersey to take a smarter, clearer approach to fight school bullying by ensuring that existing resources are better managed and used to make our schools safer for students;
h.In keeping with the aforementioned goal of fiscal responsibility and in an effort to minimize any burden placed on schools and school districts, existing personnel and resources shall be utilized in every possible instance to accomplish the goals of increased prevention, reporting, and responsiveness to incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, including in the appointment of school anti-bullying specialists and district anti-bullying coordinators;
i.By strengthening standards for preventing, reporting, investigating, and responding to incidents of bullying this act will help to reduce the risk of suicide among students and avert not only the needless loss of a young life, but also the tragedy that such loss represents to the student's family and the community at large; and
j.Harassment, intimidation, and bullying is also a problem which occurs on the campuses of institutions of higher education in this State, and by requiring the public institutions to include in their student codes of conduct a specific prohibition against bullying, this act will be a significant step in reducing incidents of such activity.
L.2010, c.122, s.2.
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