Student Life and Personnel Services » H.I.B Awareness & Resources

H.I.B Awareness & Resources

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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. 



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.


Conflict vs. Bullying

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).
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
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

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