ELC has long viewed school district policies and procedures around bullying as particularly problematic for students who are already at-risk. Through litigation and policy advocacy, ELC has contributed to efforts to help establish a coherent state policy framework to prevent and protect children from bullying and harassment in New Jersey public schools.
For both the most current and archival information on ELC’s bullying work, please visit our News page.
To stay up-to-date on our work, subscribe to our electronic news releases by entering your contact information in the Join Our Network box on the lower right-hand side of this page.
Advocacy & Litigation
In 2007, ELC joined with the ACLU-NJ and other advocacy groups as amicus in L.W. v. Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education. In this landmark case, the NJ Supreme Court ruled that a school district can be sued for damages under the Law Against Discrimination for failing to respond to bias-based student bullying and harassment.
Following the decision, the State created the New Jersey Commission on Bullying in Schools to study and recommend ways to strengthen New Jersey’s approach to the problem. ELC serves on the law committee of the New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, established to advise the State level Commission.
The Commission’s 2009 report recommending legal and policy reforms to address bullying contributed to NJ’s “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights,” which is considered the strongest anti-bullying legislation in the country. Under the Act, all New Jersey school districts must strengthen their standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating and responding to incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) of students, both in school and off school premises. Information and resources to aid schools in the establishment of HIB polices can be found on the New Jersey Department of Education’s website.
ELC continues to advocate for enforcement of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, provide legal assistance in bullying and harassment cases and expand the pool of trained attorneys willing to represent parents and students on a pro bono basis in these cases.
To read ELC reports on bullying, visit the Publications page on this website.
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