In collaboration with the New Jersey Leadership Program (NJLP), which selects ten South Asian students in high school and college throughout the state every year and place them in a full time Summer internship with the Governor’s Office, State Agencies, Member of Congress or State Legislator, Act to Change is proud to announce its first ever report of bullying recommendations.
New Jersey has been on the forefront of bullying prevention since the state passed its first anti-bullying law in 2011 referred to as “harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying” (or HIB). However, in recent years, there has been an increase in bullying towards students of Asian-Pacific Islander decent. With the passage of Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak and Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson’s bill creating an anti-bullying policy review taskforce, it is important for the public to examine these policies themselves. It is important to find out what works and what doesn’t, so that we can modify our policies to ensure a safe learning environment for students in the State of New Jersey.
To foster the mental, emotional, and physical safety of young people in this state, effective policy must be established. Through this, we can ensure better social and educational outcomes for students across the state of New Jersey and the country.
Summary of Policy Recommendations
In order to improve the policies in place across the state, the Legislature and the school districts should:
- Make a significant investment in counseling personnel and provide counseling departments with the resources to improve the school environment.
- Provide specificity in the district policies and state laws concerning what constitutes hate speech and under which circumstances racism crosses into harassment, so that schools can properly administer themselves and better educate the parents, staff, and students.
- Require of the anti-bullying taskforce that it consult with students and create a comprehensive report after its consideration.
- Require of school districts that the Superintendent of Schools must present a monthly report on harassment, intimidation, and bullying in the district to the local Board of Education and an annual report on the same to the state Department of Education each June.
- Create a Division of Student Health within the state Department of Education focused on ensuring the health of the student bodies across the state and the proper administration of the anti-bullying policies.
- Appropriate funds in the state budget specifically for bullying prevention and remediation programs in schools and statewide.
Click below to read the full report: