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  • NJ A2499
  • Establishes pilot program in DOE to address school climate issues related to harassment, intimidation, and bullying in public schools.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill establishes a one-year pilot program in the Department of Education to reduce bullying in the public schools. The goals of the pilot program will be to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn in a safe and positive environment and to provide student bullies with needed guidance and counseling. The pilot program will address school climate issues through the administration of an anonymous and voluntary student survey that allows students to identify issues related to harassment, intimidation, and bullying in school, including individuals who have engaged in such actions, without fear of reprisal. The survey shall encourage students to identify issues related to harassment, intimidation, and bullying, particular incidents that have occurred, and the effects of harassment, intimidation, and bullying within the school in order to assist in the investigation of incidents. The completed surveys will be reviewed by the school official who is designated under current law to receive reports of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. A school district may administer the anonymous voluntary student survey without providing notice or receiving prior written informed consent from the student's parent or guardian. In addition to any action required of school district officials under the district's policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying as adopted pursuant to State law, the school official must address any identified pattern of harassment, intimidation, and bullying in the school and review school district policies in light of the survey. The school official will investigate any incident identified and arrange to meet with any student identified by his peers during the survey process. The school official may notify the student's parents or guardians of the reason for the meeting. In the event that the school official determines that a student is in need of support services, the school official will work with the student, his parents or guardians, teachers, and other educational personnel, as necessary, to develop and implement appropriate services. Not less than three months after the administration of the first survey and in the same school year, a second anonymous student survey will be administered to be reviewed and acted upon in the same manner as the first survey. The Commissioner of Education will select six districts to participate in the pilot program, two in each of the southern, central, and northern regions of the State. The commissioner may not require a school district to participate in the pilot program. The program will include only the middle and secondary school students in the selected districts. At the conclusion of the pilot program, the commissioner will report to the Governor and the Legislature on the feasibility of expanding the program to other school districts in the State.
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Education Committee  (on 2/4/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
2/4/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Education Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified