An Act concerning harassment and bullying prevention in public school districts and amending and supplementing P.L.2002, c.83.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.2002, c.83 (C.18A:37-14) is amended to read as follows:
C.18A:37-14 Definitions relative to adoption of harassment and bullying prevention policies.
2. As used in this act:
"Electronic communication" means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager;
"Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means 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, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory handicap, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function or on a school bus and that:
a. a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or
b. has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.
C.18A:37-15.1 “Electronic communication” included in school districts’ harassment and bullying prevention policy.
2. a. A school district's policy on prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying adopted pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2002, c.83 (C.18A:37-15), shall be amended, if necessary, to reflect the provisions of P.L.2007, c.129 (C.18A:37-15.1 et al.). The district shall transmit a copy of the amended policy to the appropriate county superintendent of schools. Notice of the amended policy shall appear in any publication of the school district that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of conduct for schools within the school district, and in any student handbook.
b. In the event that a school district's policy on prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying adopted pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2002, c.83 (C.18A:37-15) does not accord with the provisions of subsection a. of this section by the 90th day following the effective date of this act, the district’s existing policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be deemed to include an “electronic communication” as defined in section 2 of P.L.2002, c.83 (C.18A:37-14) as amended by section 1 of P.L.2007, c.129.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
Approved August 6, 2007.