Education Law Center Senior Attorney Elizabeth Athos was recognized for her outstanding efforts to ensure safe and harassment-free schools through her contributions to the enactment and implementation of New Jersey’s groundbreaking Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights law.
Under Ms. Athos’ direction, ELC has been a key contributor in preventing and protecting children from bullying and harassment in New Jersey public schools.
Ms. Athos received the prestigious honor from New Jersey Child Assault Prevention (NJ CAP) at their biannual awards luncheon in Princeton on March 28, 2014.
NJCAP honored Ms. Athos for making “prevention of child abuse and bullying a priority” in her work. The organization cited Ms. Athos’ 20 years of intensive work to ensure all children can attend schools that are safe and conducive to learning. Highlights of her accomplishments include:
- participating with the ACLU-NJ and other advocacy groups as amicus in the landmark L.W. v. Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education case, in which the NJ Supreme Court ruled that a school district can be sued for damages under the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) for failing to respond to bias-based student-on-student bullying and harassment;
- serving on the law committee of the NJ Commission on Bullying in Schools in 2009, helping to draft the Commission’s report that led to adoption of NJ’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights;
- providing advice and representation to numerous parents whose children have been the target of bullying through ELC’s legal assistance program;
- developing a Pro Bono Bullying Project with Volunteer Lawyers for Justice that has trained over two dozen attorneys to represent parents and students in bullying and harassment cases free of charge;
- launching the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Attorneys listserv to support and strengthen attorneys representing students who are the target of bullying.
Ms. Athos was nominated for the award by Dr. Michael Greene, a Senior Fellow at Rutgers School of Criminal Justice and a NJCAP advisory board member.
NJ CAP is a statewide, community-based prevention program. With the motto “All Children Deserve to be Safe, Strong and Free,” the CAP program seeks to reduce children’s vulnerability to abuse, neglect and bullying by providing comprehensive prevention workshops for children, parents and school staff. The project is sponsored by the NJ Department of Children and Families and supported by school districts across the state.
Policy and Outreach Director
973-624-1815, x 24
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications