Anti-Bullying Information

  • This Anti-Bullying Information webpage serves as a resource for all school stakeholders to stay informed of current trends related to the H.I.B. Law.

    CLICK HERE TO REPORT AN ACT OF HARRASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, OR BULLYING.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH An INFORMATIONAL SCREENCAST ON H.I.B.

     
    Definition of H.I.B.

    From Chester's Policy:

    The board expects all pupils to treat each other with civility and respect and not to engage in behavior that is disruptive or violent.  This type of behavior interferes with a pupil’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its pupils in a safe environment. Therefore, the school district will not tolerate acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

     

    The board prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying against any pupil.

     

    “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” is defined 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 characteristic, such as race, color, religion, gender, a mental, physical or sensory disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on or off school grounds, at any school-sponsored function or on a school bus and that:

     

    1. A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of harming a pupil or damaging the pupil’s property, or placing a pupil in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property; or

     

    1. Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any pupil or group of pupils in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

     

    “Electronic communication” means a communication that is transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager, that takes place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored function or on a school bus.

     

     

    Chester's H.I.B. Policy

    Access file below to Board Policy 5131 - Conduct Discipline, Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

     

    Follow this link to R5131 - Administrative Regulatons for Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

    /files/filesystem/regulations%20for%20hib%20policy%209-11.doc

     

     

    Anti-Bullying Specialists

    Each school is required to have an Anti-bullying Specialist, as outlined in the new law. The Anti-bullying Specialist's responsibilities include chairing the School Safety Team, leading the investigation of any reports of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, addressing situations involving bullying, and reporting on the investigations to administration. 

    Our schools Anti-bullying Specialists are listed below. 

     

     

    Dickerson Elementary School:

    (908)879-5313, 250 State Route 24, Chester, NJ 07930 

    Michelle Lakefield, michelle.lakefield@chester-nj.org Guidance Counselor  

    Bragg Intermediate School:

    (908)879-5324, 250 State Route 24, Chester, NJ 07930

    Karen Andolina, karen.andolina@chester-nj.org Guidance Counselor

    Jenna Spence, jenna.spence@chester-nj.org Guidance Counselor 

      

    Black River Middle School:

    (908)879-6363, Route 513 North Road, Chester, NJ 07930

    Amal Azzara, amal.azzara@chester-nj.org Guidance Counselor    

      

     

    Brad Currie, Director of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, serves as the Anti-Bullying Coordinator for the Chester Schools. brad.currie@chester-nj.org (908) 879-7373, ext 6314

     

     

     

     

Related Files

HIB Explanation Letter

  • Dear Parents and Guardians:

     

    One of the most important directives that educators are tasked with each day is the safeguarding of our students’ physical and emotional well-being.  The state’s HIB statutes (harassment, intimidation, and bullying) have been designed and promulgated to assist educators, students, and families in identifying and addressing negative behaviors and providing students with the tools necessary so as to prevent these incidents from occurring.  While we have made great strides in informing our educational community about HIB protocols, we would like to clarify some information in order to better assist parents and students in recognizing the differences between normal student conflict and the far more serious behaviors that rise to the level of HIB.

    Conflict is a normal part of adolescent development; it is not uncommon for students to experience periodic conflict and with the assistance of educators and parents, to resolve occasional conflict readily and peacefully.  HIB, however, involves imbalances of power, attacks based on perceived characteristics or traits and other factors, all of which are defined on our district’s website at the following link: https://www.chester-nj.org/Page/958.

    Please know that when reporting incidents to teachers or administrators, either verbally or in writing, that the use of the words harassment, intimidation, or bullying will trigger an automatic HIB investigation.  We are not attempting to dissuade parents or students from reporting events; on the contrary, we ask that you bring any matter concerning the well-being of our students to our attention. However, based on legal requirements, we cannot ignore these words once they have been stated.  In order to avoid a misunderstanding, we recommend that you describe incidents as they have occurred without personally labeling the behavior as HIB unless it is your direct intent to formally begin an investigation.  Our trained staff will then make the determination as to the appropriate manner in which to proceed.

    The district has experienced tremendous success with conflict resolution, a process that allows students to meet in a controlled environment with a trained counselor in order to discuss the nature of their conflict and the methods they can employ to resolve their issues peacefully and expeditiously.  We strongly recommend conflict resolution as an excellent means of furthering discussions and remedying student issues.  This pathway is also available upon parent/student request.

    As always, we remain committed to the social and emotional growth of all of our students, and we welcome any questions from our parent community.

     

    Respectfully,

     

     

    Brad Currie 

    Anti-Bulling Coordinator 

    Chester School District