Harrassment, Intimidation and Bullying

For more information please contact our Dean of Students, Joseph Spano

HoLa has conscientiously implemented the requirements in the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, and strives to improve its implementation each year. For 2016-17, our focus is on staff training, as well as preventive initiatives that build awareness and proactively promote a positive school culture.

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the responsibilities of the school safety team are to maintain a positive and safe school environment for staff and students. These members are:
Joseph Spano - Anti-Bullying Specialist 
Marta Pizarro 
Jessica Gomez-Martinho
Margarita Garcia

Click here to view HoLa’s HIB Grade Report for 2015
Click here to view HoLa’s HIB Grade Report for 2014

For HoLa’s HIB policy, please click here.

What is HIB? N.J.S.A. 18A:37

  • N.J.S.A. 18A:37 was adopted in January 2011; and became effective September 1, 2011.
  • “Harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single event or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or 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 groups . . . that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students.

What constitutes HIB under the law?
There is HIB when there are all elements found in column 1 AND any (1) or more elements of column 2 are determined to be in existence.

All elements Any one of the list
-Single event or series of events


-Gesture, written, verbal or physical act or electronic communication

-Act motivated by a perceived or actual distinguishing characteristic

-On school property or off school grounds when substantially disrupting educational process

-Reasonable person should know that act will cause physical or emotional harm to victim


-Act has effect of insulting or demeaning any student(s)

-Creates hostile education environment for students by interfering with the student’s educational process.

Changes in the Law

  1. HIB Off School Grounds: The HIB definition, policies, and procedures must now address incidents that occur off school grounds when they substantially disrupt or interfere with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of the other students.
  2. HIB Investigation: An HIB investigation, previously done by principal or her designee, is to be initiated by the principal or her designee but conducted by the school’s anti-bullying specialist, appointed by the principal.
  3. Range of HIB responses: The principal, in consultation with the school anti-bullying specialist, is responsible for identifying the range of ways in which is a school will response once an incident is identified.
  4. All Acts of HIB: The HIB definition clarifies that the HIB policies and procedures apply to a single incident or a series

HoLa’s HIB Procedure & Timeline

  1. Incident is reported
  2. Identification of parties involved
  3. Talk to the relevant parties – victim and alleged perpetrator not in the same room.
  4. Determine if HIB has occurred
  5. Document, plan response, and monitor effectiveness of response.
  • Day of – verbal report
  • Within 1 day – investigation must begin
  • Within 2 school days – written report
  • Within 10 days -
    • investigation must be completed
    • Results reported to Director
    • Director’s results are presented to the Board
    • Board issues a decision
  • Within 90 days – Appeal is possible

HIB Parental Rights by Law

  • Only parents who are parties to the investigation are entitled to receive information about the investigation.
  • Parents are entitled to know the nature of investigation and whether evidence of HIB was found, whether discipline was imposed or services provided, and are entitled to receive a report in writing within 5 days after the Board’s report.
  • A parent may request a hearing before the Board, and upon request such a hearing must be held within 10 days.

HIB statute requires a range of responses…

  • Individual responses –positive reinforcement, peer mentoring, counseling, etc.
  • Classroom responses – role plays, research projects, lessons, etc. School responses – theme days, “acts of kindness” week
  • District-wide responses – adoption of school-wide programs
  • Memorandum of Agreement – Memorandum of Agreement between school and law enforcement officials explaining the conditions under which school officials are required to report bias crimes or acts to authorities

Examples of Consequences for Students

  • Temporary removal from class
  • Deprivation of privileges
  • Classroom detention
  • Administrative detention
  • In-school suspension
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Legal action