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HIB Harassment Intimidation Bullying
What is HIB?
What is HIB?
The definition of HIB that applies to the use of this guidance is established at N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14 and is "any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that:
Is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by an actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic;
Takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus; or off school grounds, as provided for in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15.3,
Substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of the other students; and that
A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; or
Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
Creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student's education or by severly or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.
Guidance for Parents on the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act - Click HERE!
Report a HIB
The 10 Steps of the HIB Complaint and Investigation Process
Step 1: The Verbal Report
All reports of HIB acts must be reported to the principal the same day the incident occurs when a school staff member, a contractor or a volunteer personally witnesses an act of HIB; or receives reliable information indicating that a HIB act occurred. Within two (2) school days of the verbal report, the school employee, contractor or volunteer must also report the act of HIB to the principal, in writing via the NJ State required HIB 338 form.
Step 2: Preliminary Determination
The principal or anti-bully coordinator initiates an investigation and assesses whether to open a HIB investigation or respond to a Code of Conduct issue. The principal or anti-bullying coordinator implements the HIB policy or the code of student conduct policy at any point in time there is sufficient information to invoke the provisions of either of these policies.
Step 3: Parent/Guardian Notification
As soon as possible following any verbal report of HIB to the principal, the principal must inform the parents/guardians of all suspected student offenders and suspected student victims. The principal might inform the parent/guardian by phone, letter or some other form of communication. If it is appropriate to the situation, the principal may discuss the availability of counseling and other intervention services.
Step 4: The Investigation
One (1) school day after receiving the verbal report, the principal or the principal’s designee must start an investigation of the act. The school anti-bullying specialist conducts the investigation, in coordination with the principal. Length of Investigation – The investigation should be completed as soon as possible, but must be completed no later than ten (10) school days from the date of the written report. During the investigation the principal might appoint other school staff to help with the investigation; and might administer discipline or take other steps under the Board of Education’s anti-bullying policy or code of student conduct if the facts show there is enough information to do so.
Step 5: The Investigation Report
Within two (2) school days of the completion of the investigation, the results of the investigation must be reported to the Superintendent. Amending the Investigation Report (Depends on the Facts): If there is information related to the investigation that is received after the ten (10) school day deadline, the ABS may amend the original results of the report to include the information. There is no deadline for making an amendment to the report. The district would make a decision on the way to respond to the additional information, depending on the facts.
Step 6: Superintendent Actions
Based on the investigation report, the Superintendent may choose to take any one of the following additional actions: Impose discipline; Provide intervention services; Create training programs to reduce HIB, improve school climate and make the school safer and more accepting of all students; Order counseling; Take any other actions necessary to address the incident or reduce HIB in school.
Step 7: The Superintendent’s Report to the Board of Education
The Superintendent must report the results of the investigation and any actions taken to the Board of Education by its next meeting following the completion of the investigation.
Step 8: Information to Parents/Guardians
Within five (5) school days after the results of the investigation are reported to the Board of Education, the school district must provide parents/guardians with information about the investigation that is limited to the following: The type of investigation that was conducted; Whether or not the district found evidence of HIB, as defined in the ABR; and Whether or not discipline was imposed or services were provided to address the HIB.
Step 9: Optional Hearing or Appeal
Within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt of the information on the investigation, parents/guardians have the right, but are not required, to request a hearing with the Board of Education, if they are unsatisfied with the investigation findings or any other actions taken by the school or school district. This request can be submitted to the Superintendent in writing via certified letter or through email. If the parent/guardian requests this hearing,it must be held in executive session within ten (10) school days of the parent’s/guardian’s request.
Step 10: Board of Education Decision
At the Board of Education’s next meeting following its receipt of the Superintendent’s report, the Board of Education must produce a decision, in writing. The decision must either uphold, reject or change the Superintendent’s decision. Within five (5) school days the Superintendent will provide parents/guardians with information communicating the BOE’s decision.
To review Hainesport Township School Districts 2016-2017 Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Grade Report, please click HERE.
To review Hainesport Township School Districts 2018-2019 Anti-Bullying Bill of Right Grade Report, please click HERE.
To review Hainesport Township School Districts 2020-2021 Anti-Bullying Bill of Right Grade Report, please click HERE.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is "HIB" or Bullying?
In order for an event to be considered an incident or harassment, intimidation, or bullying, there are specific criteria and ALL criteria must be met for it to be affirmed as a HIB event. Those criteria are:
- An event can be any gesture, written, verbal, or physical act, or electronic communication , whether it is a single incident or a series of incidents.
- The event must be seen by a reasonable as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical, or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic.
- The event takes place on school property, at any school sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operations of the school.
- One of the following criteria must be met:
- The event has the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; OR
- The event has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; OR
- Creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student's education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.
Why does the process take so long?
The state of New Jersey has given school districts a very specific timeline to follow regarding the investigation of incidents that may be harassment, intimidation, or bullying. After receiving a report from the building principal, the anti-bullying specialist has ten school days in which to conduct their investigation. Once the investigation is completed and submitted to the building principal, it is then submitted to the Superintendent for review. The Superintendent is required to review cases, anonymously, with the Board of Education, before final decision can be processed and parent notification is completed.
Are parents present during a student interview?
Anti-bullying specialists and principals conduct student interviews regarding a multitude of activities and incidents going on in school buildings each day. Parents are not involved in these interviews, but are updated on the content of these conversations as the investigation is concluded.
What happens when my child is labeled a "bully" as a result of an investigation?
At no point in time are children labeled as "bullies". The purpose of the Harassment, Intimidation, and/or Bullying (HIB) investigation is to determine if a student violated the Anti-Bully Bill of Rights. Although it may be determined that a child has violated this law, it in no way labels the child or gives the child a "record".
What are the consequences for students who have violated the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights?
Consequences and intervention strategies that result from an invesigation are highly variable and highly individualized. Consequences and intervention strategies may include, but are not limited to, parent conferences, loss pf privileges, school detentions, counseling, class lessons, etc. There is no pre-determined consequence any child involved in a violation of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. All consequences are developmentally appropriate and take into consideration the whole child.
How will this affect my child's school record?
HIB Investigations are completely confidential and no record of the investigation is kept in a student's file. The school principal or anti-bullying specialist may keep a file of past investigations for state reporting purposes, but student names are not made public in any way.
What information will I receive at the conclusion of the investigation?
Building principals are required to notify parents of the outcome of the investigation and whether or not consequences/remedial measures were imposed. Again, all information is confidential.