New Jersey Anti-Bullying Laws

Instructor: Amanda Smith

Amanda has taught adult cognitive-behavioral programs in a corrections setting for the last ten years and has a bachelor's degree in Sociology/Criminology.

What exactly do the anti-bullying laws in New Jersey cover? This lesson will define harassment and outline the steps that must be taken according to the law.

Harassment at School

It all began in 2010 for Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Clementi was the victim of cyber-harassment when his roommate posted an intimate moment to social media between Clementi and another man that his roommate captured on a webcam. The roommate set up the camera without Tyler's knowledge and watched from another student's computer down the hall. After posting the footage to Twitter, the roommate encouraged other students to tune in for another viewing that never took place. Ultimately, Clementi took his own life by jumping from the George Washington Bridge.

Following this incident of cyberbullying, New Jersey unanimously passed an anti-bullying law that went into effect in the 2011 school year. While other states have also passed similar laws, New Jersey has gained attention for its broad definition of bullying. The law is known as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act and protects students from harassment on school property, at any school related function, off school grounds, and on the school bus. The law is intended to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment so that students may focus on their education.

The law defines harassment at school as any physical, emotional, verbal, or cyberbullying act that interferes with a student's ability to learn and with the daily operations of the school. Physical harassment is any aggressive contact with another person, such as hitting or punching. Emotional harassment takes many forms like excluding a person from social groups or making crude gestures towards the person. Verbal harassment is name calling or teasing. Cyberbullying takes place in electronic formats like text messages, e-mails, or over social media.

Bullying can be physical, emotional, verbal, and includes cyberbullying
Bully

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