STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION
Assemblyman KEVIN J. ROONEY
District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Amends definition of “harassment, intimidation, or bullying” in “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.”
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning harassment, intimidation, and bullying in public schools and amending 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:
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, 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] including, but not limited to, 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:
a. 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;
b. has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
c. 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.
(cf: P.L.2010, c.122, s.11)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill amends the definition of “harassment, intimidation, or bullying” in the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act,” P.L.2002, c.83 (C.18A:37-13 et seq.). The current definition provides in part that “harassment, intimidation, or bullying” must be reasonably perceived as being motivated by an actual or perceived characteristic and the definition sets forth examples of such characteristics - race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability. This bill helps to clarify that a motivating characteristic under the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act,” is not limited to only those characteristics specifically listed in the definition.