NJ Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Law: Know Your Rights As Victim and Accused

Presenter: Beth C. Manes, Esq.

View the webinar’s corresponding slides here   

Webinar attendees will learn the basics of the HIB law, and what types of incidents are covered, what schools should be doing when they are made aware of potential HIB, how are victims and accused students protected under the law. Beth Manes earned a B.A., cum laude, in Politics with a minor in Spanish, and her Law Degree from University of Michigan. Beth’s practice concentrates in Special Education Law, Special Needs Planning, Guardianships and Estate Planning.

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  1. kteabo says:

    What are the retrocessions for false claims?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      Filing a false HIB claim is likely a violation of the student code of conduct, and will be dealt with accordingly.

  2. JSmith says:

    Is there a link with HIB and violence from victims with disabilities?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      I don’t understand this question?

  3. JInscho says:

    What happens if the victim becomes the aggressor?

    • BManes, Esq says:

      It depends on what that aggression looks like. If there is a distinguishing characteristic, it could be HIB. However, it could also be treated as peer conflict, and discipline would be determined by the student code of conduct and district disciplinary policies.

  4. PRostain says:

    Do you see the victims with mental health disabilities becoming violent?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      We don’t often see victims becoming violent. Also the category “mental health disabilities” is very broad. Some people with mental health disabilities have violent tendencies, but many do not. However, when we have seen it occur, the district has sought to discipline the victim, who became the aggressor.

  5. PWilling says:

    Example situation: bully has trauma due to mother’s death and targets peer (for past two years) who has an absent mother. The school has been intervening individually. Appropriate to file HIB report for this type of bullying?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      Interesting question. I would want more information before giving a firm answer, but I would say it is possible, the “absent mother” would be the distinguishing characteristic.

  6. GGorgon says:

    You talked about manifestation determination for children with disabilities, what if my child doesn’t have an IEP or 504?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      If your child has a disability that the district did not identify, then your child should still be treated as a child with a disability for disciplinary purposes. We would discuss whether the district should have known prior to the incident, or if perhaps the incident itself should have alerted them to a disability.

  7. WDavis says:

    You said I can appeal to the board of education. What is that process like? Do I need a lawyer?

    • BManes says:

      It varies by district, some allow questioning, some only allow you to make a statement. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer, but you may want one depending on the facts of your case, and the severity of the proposed punishment. It is certainly prudent to consult with a lawyer to discuss the particulars of your case, and then decide whether you need representation at the appeal.

  8. BStern says:

    If there is a power imbalance, do I still need to show that there was a distinguishing characteristic?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      Yes, though the power imbalance itself may be the distinguishing characteristic.

  9. ACliff says:

    Are there any statistics on the reoccurrence of bullying by either the victim or the aggressor?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      There is a website, bullyingstatistics.org, that may have that information. Another useful site is stopybullying.gov.

  10. sgrainger says:

    Have there been any studies done on bullying being a learned behavior – copied from siblings or parents?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      Probably, but I have not read any.

  11. hhildebrandt says:

    Are there any stats available on prevalence of HIB in middle school vs. high school?

    • BManes, Esq says:

      There is a website, bullyingstatistics.org, that may have that information. Another useful site is stopybullying.gov.

  12. RCongo says:

    Are there any repercussions for students who stand and watch or watch and don’t report?

    • BManes, Esq. says:

      Unfortunately, no. We have not yet raised the expectations of our children.