Bullying and its Consequences in NJ
Once upon a time, bullying was viewed as a rite of passage — a hallmark of childhood. Fortunately, times have changed. Today, anti-bullying laws have been passed in every state. But that doesn’t mean that bullying in schools has stopped.
We hear about it all too frequently — news stories of schoolchildren suffering horrific physical, verbal, sexual, and electronic abuse at the hands of their peers. And it’s not just students who are the perpetrators. There are reported cases of bullying by teachers, coaches, administrators, and other school officials.
The damage that bullying wreaks upon students can last into adulthood. Victims of bullying are more prone to depression, anxiety, loneliness, suicidal ideation, and adjustment problems.
Is your child being bullied at school in New Jersey? State law imposes specific requirements on schools to report and address bullying. If you suspect that your school is violating the law, a Freehold, NJ bullying lawyer at Susan Clark Law Group LLC can step in and enforce your child’s rights. With 100 years of combined trial experience, our attorneys are unafraid to stand up for what’s right.
You’re not alone. Call or contact us for a free consultation.
Types of Bullying
New Jersey law defines bullying as “any gesture, any written, verbal, or physical act or any electronic communication…that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristics 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.”
Bullying is also known as HIB in New Jersey, which stands for harassment, intimidation, and bullying).
The long legal definition aside, here’s what bullying could look like at your school:
● Hitting, kicking, punching, spitting, or shoving
● Verbal threats, teasing, and taunts
● Cyberbullying (using electronic devices to harm others intentionally)
● Spreading rumors, breaking up friendships, forcing withdrawal from activities by intimidation
Identifying the Signs of Bullying
It may be some time before a child reports they are being bullied. Bullying creates a sense of fear and shame that keeps suffering students from reporting it to their teachers or families.
Recognizing the warning signs could clue you in that something is wrong, such as:
● Unexplained bruises, cuts, and torn clothing
● Broken or missing belongings
● Reluctance to attend school
● Truancy or skipping classes
● Sudden withdrawal from activities
● Reluctance to talk about friends or a sudden drop in friendships
● A decline in academic performance
● Not sharing their social media accounts with you
What You Can Do About It
In New Jersey, school districts must report bullying publicly, appoint anti-bullying specialists, develop and distribute anti-bullying policies, and provide training and bullying prevention programs in their schools.
When the school isn’t helping, get Susan Clark Law Group LLC involved. Our NJ bullying lawyers will step in to stop your child’s suffering and hold the school district accountable. We serve clients throughout Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean counties. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.