Pemberton Anti-Bullying Program
Pemberton Township Schools has established a district wide anti-bullying, harassment and intimidation (HIB) program designed to create a respectful and tolerant atmosphere. Ongoing programs for students take place at every school throughout the year, focusing on bullying prevention strategies and working toward building a consistent "Climate of Respect."
Pemberton Township takes pride in instituting Character Education programs throughout our district. Building character at school not only helps students with their academic studies, but it can also help prevent bullying. Character education teaches kids about gaining a sense of responsibility and learning to do the right thing. Moreover, they learn how to interact with their teachers and fellow students. The result creates a positive atmosphere at school and in the classrooms. Our dedication to character education has led us to have six schools designated as National Schools of Character, and nine schools named NJ State Schools of Character.
In accordance with NJ law, each school has a designated anti-bullying specialist, who serves as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying and addressing incidents of HIB in the school. Students, staff members and parents are encouraged to promptly report behavior displaying possible harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
It is the intent of the NJ Legislature in its January 2011 enactment of the Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) Law to strengthen the standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating, and responding to incidents of HIB by students that occur in school and off school premises.
The District prohibits all acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying. HIB is defined as any gesture, written, verbal or physical act or any electronic communication (that is, transmitted by an electronic device), whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents that:
- Is reasonably perceived as being motivated by either 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; and
- 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 operation of the school or the rights of other students; and that
- A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act 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 a person(s) or damage to 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 severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.
An HIB complaint will be investigated promptly within the defined timeline and in adherence with the procedures set forth in the District HIB Policy.
The Commissioner of Education is required to grade each public school and school district’s efforts to implement the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR) (N.J.S.A.18A:17-46). This guidance document has been developed to help the School Safety/School Climate Team (SS/SCT) fulfill its responsibility to complete the School Self-Assessment for Determining Grades under the ABR. School districts are required to post scores on their district website. Each school in our district posts their scores for the previous school year on their school web page.