We are pleased to share that our partner, Luanne Peterpaul, as member of the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Task Force (ABTF) contributed to the publication of this year’s annual report. The ABTF is pleased to note a second year of declining trends in HIB investigations and incidents in schools and an increase in programs and trainings offered to students and staff to prevent HIB incidents. More specifically, according to the Commissioner’s Annual Report to the Education Committees of the Senate and General Assembly on the Violence Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Public Schools, July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 (V & V Report), there was a 16% decrease in the number of HIB investigations conducted over the prior year and a 9% decline in confirmed incidents.
With a focus on the effective implementation of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights (ABR) in New Jersey schools, the ABTF is recommending several revisions to regulation, as well as the development of additional guidance for the field that will help to clarify the law and support its practice in schools.
- The definition of HIB as it relates to hazing, reporting and investigation
- Implementation of the ABR in higher education
- The Commissioner’s Program and Guidance for Determining Grades under the ABR
- School range of responses to incidents of HIB
- Resources available to assist in the implementation of the ABR
- School Safety/Climate Team
The overarching goal of the ABR and the ABTF is to assist schools throughout the State of New Jersey to reduce HIB. The ABTF strongly recommends in the current report that the focus of training be purposeful and shift from compliance to that of creating a culture of inclusivity and collaboration through the School Safety/Climate Team. The continued focus on improving school climate should be each district’s ultimate goal.
A copy of the 2014 Annual Report can be downloaded here.