Anti-Bullying Initiative


Candace Coccaro, Director

Louis De Carlo, Coordinator

346 Claremont Avenue - Rm. 615
Jersey City, NJ 07305

New Jersey has been a leader in the establishment of a strong statutory, regulatory policy and program framework to support the prevention, remediation and reporting of HIB in schools.  The Jersey City Public Schools prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying (HIB) of students and staff. All members of the district school community have a right to live and work in a safe environment. For that reason, every school in the district has a School Safety Team headed by the Principal and the Anti-Bullying Specialist (ABS), which provides support and works to reduce the number of bullying incidents by addressing bullying behavior through culture and climate. All student HIB incidents should be reported to the school administrator where the incident occurred. The Principal and the school ABS investigates and reports the outcome to the district Coordinator. 

Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR)

Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act-2012 Amendments

Information on the 2022 Amendments to the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights


Definition from NJSA: 18A:37-14: 

 "Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means 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 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, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds as provided for in section 16 of P.L.2010, c.122 (C.18A:37-15.3), that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students and that:

  1. 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;
  2. Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students;
  3. 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.


Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying can be*:
  • Physical:  Kicking, biting, scratching, tripping, hitting, slapping, pushing/shoving
  • Verbal:  Hurtful teasing, name calling, gossiping, insults, teasing about clothes or looks, spreading rumors, or making threats to secure silence "If you tell, I will ..."
  • Non-verbal:  Defacing damaging or destroying personal property, making threatening gestures, taking small items from others/stealing, playing mean tricks
  • Emotional:  Intentional exclusion or spreading rumors, hate notes
  • Cyber-bullying:  Spreading hurtful information through email, online chats, social networking sites or text and picture messages
  • Sexual:  Unwarranted touching, obscene gestures or comments, exposing oneself
*the above described behavior, while violative of the Code of Conduct, constitutes Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying only when all of the elements contained in the definition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying exist; however, misconduct not found to be HIB will still result in consequences pursuant to the Code of Conduct.
All Anti-Bullying Initiative Reports can be located under Public Board Docs and using the following steps:
  • Click on meetings
  • Choose the monthly agenda you're looking for
  • Scroll down to Other monthly reports at the bottom of the list and locate  Acknowledgment of Receipt of HIB Monthly Report
School Self-Assessment for Determining Grades under the ABR

As per the Anti-Bullying Rights Act (ABR) (P.L.2010,c.122), the Jersey City Public Schools has posted its Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act grades to the school district’s HIB webpage, and to each individual school’s web page. Please feel free to contact Ms. Candace Coccaro, Anti-Bullying Coordinator if you have any questions.
New Jersey Department of Education - School Self-Assessment for Determining Grades under the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights - District and School Grade Report
Since the implementation of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, our schools and District have made progress in addressing harassment, intimidation and bullying incidents and improving the school climate and culture by using the training and the law to help protect innocent children, as the rules and law help explain the wrongful behavior of the aggressor and communicate it more effectively to all the parents involved.
Interpreting Review of the Grades
Under the Commissioner's Program, the school grade is a raw score of data and the sum of the ratings for all indicators within each core element on the School Self-Assessment. The maximum total score for a school is 75 points. The school district's grade is an average of the total scores of all schools in the school district.

Bullying is not a conflict between students or among groups of students. Conflict is a mutually competitive or opposing action or engagement, including a disagreement or an argument which is a normal part of human development. Bullying is one-sided, where one or more students are victims of one or more person's aggression, which is intended to physically or emotionally hurt the victim(s).

"Harmful or demeaning conduct motivated only by another reason, for example, a dispute about a relationship or personal belongings, or aggressive conduct without identifiable motivation does not come within the statutory definition of bullying." K.L. v. Evesham School District (App. Div. 2011)

There generally are four types of bullying behaviors. These behaviors and some examples are identified below:

  • Verbal – Includes taunting, name calling, malicious teasing or making threats (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001);
  • Psychological – Includes spreading rumors, purposefully excluding people from activities, breaking up friendships (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001);
  • Physical – Includes hitting, punching, shoving, spitting or taking personal belongings (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001); and
  • Cyberbullying – Includes using the Internet, mobile phone or other digital technologies to harm others. (DuPage County Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices, 2011).

Reporting Procedures

A procedure is in place to promptly investigate reports of violations and complaints related harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Jersey City Public School District employees are required to do the following:

  • verbally report alleged violations to Principal or Vice Principal on the same day witnessed or received reliable information regarding any such incident
  • submit an incident report to the Principal and ABS within two school days of the verbal report. Reports may also be submitted using our online reporting form.  
  • Anyone that witnessed or received reliable information regarding an incident of HIB,  please click HERE.

Reporting Forms:

  1. Family/Caregiver HIB 338 Form Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying (HIB) Reporting Form 2023-24 School Year
  2. LEA HIB 338 Form Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying (HIB) Mandatory Reporting Form 20232-2024 School Year

Some Warning Signs Your Child May be Being Bullied:


Because most school children don’t talk about being bullied, it is important that you recognize the following symptoms:


  • Unexplained resistance to going to school
  • Unexplained cuts, bruises, or injuries
  • Fearfulness or unusual anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances and nightmares
  • Physical complaints which may include headaches, stomach aches on school days
  • Personal belongings are missing or come home damaged


Helping Kids Deal With Bullies-What to Do?


  • Listen to your child. Be a good listener, so that you can voice your child’s concerns
  • Contact the school immediately. Schedule an appointment to meet with your child’s Anti-Bullying Specialist, teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator to make them aware of the problem, and/or fill out an Incident Report Contact the police if you feel the actions against your child are criminal


Signs that your Child is being bullied.


What NOT to Do:


  • Don’t dismiss your child’s concerns
  • Don’t tell your child to fight back
  • Don’t say to your child “just ignore it”
  • Don’t confront the other child or his/her parent directly


Some Warning Signs Your Child May be Bullying Others:


  • Always bragging
  • Always a need to get his/her way
  • Defiant, including with you
  • Lacks empathy toward others
  • Spending time with less “powerful” children
  • Frequently misbehaves at school

What to Do?


  • Talk to your child. Never condone or accept bullying behavior
  • Encourage sympathy toward others
  • Help your child deal with his/her feelings in a positive way
  • Address the consequences of bullying with your child
  • Contact the school for help. Set up a meeting with the school’s guidance counselor to assist you