HIB Frequently Asked Questions

  • HIB Frequently Asked Questions

    Where can I find a copy of the district's HIB policy?

    You can find a copy of the district’s HIB policy #5512 on the district website by clicking on the BOE tab and selecting “policies and regulations.” For your convenience, it’s also linked here.

    What counts as harassment, intimidation, and bullying?

    Harassment, intimidation, and  bullying, or HIB, 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 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.

    How do I know if an incident or situation is student conflict or HIB?

    HIB is grounded in the incident or situation targeting a student’s protected class such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, ancestry, appearance, etc (see full list in HIB definition above). If an incident is not motivated by an actual or perceived characteristic, it likely doesn’t fall under HIB, but is rather a code of conduct violation.  See the below chart (adapted from the state of New Jersey’s Guidance for Parents on the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act) for some examples of conflict vs. bullying.

    Grade Level

    Conflict (mutual disagreements, arguments, or fights)

    Harassment, Intimidation, and/or Bullying

    Elementary School

    “You copied my picture…you stole my idea!” 

    “No, I didn’t! You copied from my picture!” 

    A fellow student grabs the picture you colored and tears it up while calling you names related to your religion and cultural heritage. 

    Middle School

    “After you borrowed my basketball, I asked that you return it and you didn’t!” 

    “I did return it! I left it on your porch.” 

    While practicing basketball skills in the gym, several students sit nearby and call out insulting comments about the color of your skin in relation to your basketball skills. 

    High School

    “You went after my boyfriend at the party and tried to hook up with him!”

    “I was told you two were broken up and he was available…and he didn’t seem too unhappy to be with me!”

    A student posts explicit photos and insulting words about your sexual orientation on Instagram, attacking you for “stealing” her boyfriend. 

    Who can report HIB and how?

    Any student, parent/guardian, staff member, or community member can report an allegation of HIB. Students, parents, and community members can choose to report anonymously. Staff members cannot report anonymously. 

    Anyone who wishes to report an allegation of HIB can do so in one of the following ways:

    • Verbally tell any school district staff member (teacher, vice principal, etc.) 

    • Written communication (email) to any school district staff member

    • Submit a form online via Hibster, our online reporting platform

    What happens after an incident has been reported?

    The building principal will review the submission (whether verbal or written) and assign the investigation to one of the school anti-bullying specialists.

    The anti-bullying specialist conducts the investigation. Investigations can take up to ten school days. They determine a finding (whether or not the incident is founded or unfounded as HIB) which is reviewed by the Superintendent, and then later reviewed by the Board of Education at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

    What if I don't agree with the outcome of an HIB investigation? Can I appeal the findings?

    We encourage you to reach out to your building principal or vice principal, or the school district anti-bullying coordinator for more clarity. If that clarity doesn’t help, should you choose to, you can formally request a hearing before the Board of Education to present evidence to challenge the outcome of the investigation.

    How does an HIB investigation impact my child's academic success?

    The HIB, whether founded or unfounded, will exist as a part of your child’s record as required by state law. However, please know that very few individuals have access to this information from school year to year. Your child’s teachers, for example, do not have access to this information. For those who are college bound, some college applications may ask if your child has ever been accused of HIB. In that case, it would be entirely up to the student filling out the application to self-report.

    Please note that students who are founded offenders in 3 or more HIBs are required to complete a student intervention plan.