Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB)
What is HIB?
In September 2011 the state of New Jersey amended the current Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) law. The purpose of the new law is to establish clearer standards for the definition of HIB, increase accountability, and to include incidents that occur off schools ground but impact the educational environment.
What is the definition of HIB?
In order for an incident to be considered HIB, it must satisfy the following:
Types of Behaviors include:
- Any gestures, or
- Any written, verbal, or physical act, or
- Any electronic communication
* Can be a single incident or series of incidents
Motivation for HIB Behavior:
- Any actual or perceived characteristic
Examples: race, color, religion, ancestry, nation origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or mental/physical/sensory disability, or any other distinguishing characteristic(s).
Location of incident:
- On school property, or
- At school sponsored function, or
- On a school bus, or
- Off school grounds (including cyberspace)
Must meet one of the following conditions in addition to causing substantial disruption or interference:
Has the effect of insulting or demeaning student or groups of students, or
Creates hostile educational environment for student by interfering with student’s education, or
Severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to students
Who can report HIB?
Anyone can report an incident of HIB including teachers, school personnel, parents, students, community members, etc.
What is the procedure after HIB is reported?All school personnel must verbally report all incidents of bullying to the building principal on the same day the incident occurs.The building principal will inform the Anti-Bullying Specialist. An investigation into the incident must begin within one (1) school day of the verbal report.The principal must contact parents/guardians and inform them about the incident within one (1) school day of receiving the verbal report.The Anti-Bullying Specialist must complete a written report within two (2) school days of the incident. The investigation should be completed as soon as possible but must be completed within ten (10) school days of the written HIB report.After the investigation is complete, if the incident is considered HIB it must be submitted to the Superintendent of Schools within two (2) schools days following the completion of the investigation.What if it is HIB?
The offender will receive consequences.The offender will participate in remediation in an effort to prevent future incidents. (Examples of remediation: individual counseling, small group counseling, sensitivity training, etc.)The written report will be sent to the Superintendent of Schools who will keep all incidents of HIB on record.The victim will receive services such as individual counseling, small group counseling, peer support groups, etc.What if it is NOT HIB?
Some incidents do not fall under HIB, but may violate the school code of conduct. In this case, the offender will be disciplined as he/she would be for any violation of the code of conduct. The alleged victim cannot be penalized for making a report of HIB and the alleged offender is not permitted to retaliate.
What is being done for prevention?
We would like to prevent bullying from occurring in our school. We strive to employ a proactive rather than reactive approach. In the upcoming school year, we will use curriculum, programs, and assemblies to educate students about bullying and its impact. All classroom teachers will facilitate six lessons on bullying from the curriculum designed by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. Bullying and respect will be discussed at morning meeting by classroom teachers during Respect Week.The school safety team will meet to discuss how to prevent bullying, improving the school climate, and additional measures that need to be taken.Understand that not all incidents will fall under the definition of HIB. The criteria are very specific and in some situations although behavior may not be appropriate it does not mean it meets the criteria to be considered HIB. This does not mean that the situation will not be dealt with.
What can I do?Talk to your child about bullying. Read literature with your child that have themes such bullying, character, and respect. Talk to your child about the difference between bullying and conflict. Be patient and understanding.