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Harassment, Intimidation, & Bullying Policy Manual

Created 2012; Revised 2016; Revised January 2022

Harassment Intimidation and Bullying Prevention Policy

Cornerstone Day School (CDS) prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying (hereinafter known as HIB). Though the HIB Prevention Policy generally outlines rules and consequences for student conduct, it must be understood that school employees

are expected to adhere to all aspects of the policy contained herein, to enforce all aspects of the policy contained herein and to always model appropriate conduct.

A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards; harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment; and since students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying. (N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 to -19).

Definition of Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying

“Gestures or verbal, electronic* or physical acts, that a reasonable person should know will cause physical and/or emotional harm or fear of harm to one or more targets or their property, or insults or demeans any student or group of students usually unprovoked, and involving an imbalance of physical, psychological and/or social power (perpetrator over target/victim) occurring usually, but not necessarily, repeatedly and over time.

In the event that any incident meeting the definition of HIB occurring either on or away from school grounds is deemed to materially and substantially interfere with the requirement of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school, the individual(s) involved in such incident shall be subject to appropriate consequences and remediation to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the physical or emotional safety, security and/or well-being of any student, staff member or school grounds. 

*It must be emphasized that the definition of HIB includes communications and gestures made via any type of electronic device or medium whether on or off school grounds.

Consequences/Appropriate Remedial Actions for Committing an Act of Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying

The Executive Director shall appoint an Anti-Bullying coordinator who is responsible for coordinating and strengthening our HIB policies and providing data regarding the same. An anti-bullying specialist will also be appointed who will lead the investigation of incidents of HIB and be the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying, and addressing incidents of HIB in the school.  

CDS will form a school safety team comprised of the principal, teacher,& therapist in the school with the school anti-bullying specialist who will serve as the chairperson. This team will:

  • Receive copies of complaints and investigation reports on HIB.
  • Identify patterns of HIB in the school,
  • Participate in training on HIB
  • Strengthen the school’s policy on HIB.


Anti-Bullying Protocol

At administrative meetings once before, and once after January 1, the Anti- Bullying Coordinator will report to the Executive Director who will report to the Founding Directors on acts of violence, vandalism and HIB which occurred during the previous reporting period, including the number of the bullying discipline imposed, and all HIB programs and trainings. 

The week of the first Monday in October each year will be designated as a “Week of Respect” by providing age-appropriate instruction on HIB.

CDS administration will help develop policies and procedures that ensure both appropriate consequences and remedial responses to a student or staff member who commits one or more acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  

In determining the appropriate consequence, CDS administration will consider the following factors: 

the age, developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved, the levels of harm, the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behaviors, past incidences or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved,  and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. In determining appropriate remedial measures, school administrators shall consider the personal and environmental factors surrounding the incident.

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student or staff member who commits one or more acts of HIB may be varied and graded according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student and the student’s history of problem behaviors and performance. This may range from positive behavioral interventions up to an including suspension or termination. In some cases, CDS will attempt to actively involve parents in the remediation of behavior(s).

Decisions determining whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires review of all facts and surrounding circumstances related to the action/incident.

Reporting an Act of Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying

  1. The school Principal or the Anti-Bullying Specialist is responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of this policy.
  2. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal or the Anti- Bullying Specialist. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, shall report any act that may be a violation of this policy. 
  3. Submission of a written report is preferred but not required, the reporting party is encouraged to use the report form available from the principal. When submitting a written report of HIB to the principal, the written report shall be on the HIB 338 Form.  Please note there are 2 forms, one labeled HIB338 for parents/families, and another labeled HIB338 for LEA’s. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be  based solely on an anonymous report.  


After an allegation of HIB

  1. Once notified of an action or incident, the principal shall ensure the Anti-Bullying Specialist (in consultation with the principal) investigate. The principal and the Antibullying Specialist may make a preliminary determination as to whether, a reported incident or complaint could be considered an act of HIB. If the principal fails to report an incident that could be considered HIB if all facts reported are deemed true, they may be subject to discipline.
  2. The Anti-Bullying Specialist may appoint additional personnel to assist in the investigation.
  3. The investigation shall be completed as soon as possible, but not later than 10 school days from the date of the written report of the incident of HIB, if there is 1 or 10 school days from the processing of an official oral report. Should there be additional information forthcoming beyond the 10 school-day period, the Anti-Bullying Specialist may amend the original report to reflect the additional information. 
  4. The result of the investigation shall be reported to the Executive Director within two days of the completion of the investigation.  
  5. The Executive Director may decide to provide intervention services, establish training programs to reduce HIB and enhance the school climate, impose consequences/discipline, increase counseling because of the findings of the investigation, and/or take/recommend other appropriate actions.
  6. Parents or legal guardians of the pupils who are parties to the investigation shall be entitled to receive information about the investigation, in accordance with Federal and State law and regulation, including the nature of the investigation, whether the school found evidence of HIB or whether discipline was imposed, or services provided to address the incident of HIB. The information shall be provided in writing within five school days after the results of the investigation are reported to the Executive Director. However, CDS must ensure the confidentiality of all students given the nature of the type of school CDS is.  
  7. The parent or legal guardian may request a formal meeting with the Executive Director after receiving the information.
    • This meeting shall be held within ten school days of request.
    • At the meeting the Executive Director may hear from the Anti- Bullying Specialist about the incident, recommendations for discipline or services, and any programs instituted to reduce such incidents.
  8. A parent, pupil, legal guardian, or organization may file a complaint with the Division of Civil Rights within one hundred eighty days of the occurrence of any incident of HIB Based on membership in a protected group as enumerated in “Law Against Discrimination,” P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.)
  9. If an alleged incident of HIB is later founded as a verified incident of HIB, copies of the results of the investigation shall be placed in the student’s record, otherwise HIB Investigations are completely confidential, and no record of the investigation is kept in a student’s file.


Responses to HIB 

Some acts of HIB may be isolated incidents requiring that the school respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious or parts of a larger pattern of harassment, intimidation or bullying that they require a response either at the classroom, school building or school district levels or by law enforcement officials.

Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for students who commit an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including Short Term Suspensions N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Long Term Suspensions N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3 or Expulsion N.J.A.C. 6A:7.5.

Individual responses can include positive behavioral interventions (e.g., peer mentoring, short-term counseling, life skills groups) and punitive actions (e.g., in- school suspension, expulsion). Classroom responses can include class discussions about an incident of HIB, role plays, research projects, observing and discussing audio-visual materials on these subjects and skill-building lessons in courtesy, tolerance, assertiveness and conflict management. School responses can include theme days, learning station programs, parent programs and information disseminated to students and parents. CDS will when appropriate implement policy review and development, professional development programs, adoption of curriculum and coordination with community- based organizations (e.g., mental health, health services, health facilities, law enforcement, faith-based).

In addition, Staff Clinicians are available to individual victims of HIB and respond in a manner that does not stigmatize victim(s). Social skills training can be provided for all students as a response for addressing victimization.

In considering whether a response beyond the individual level is appropriate, the administration should consider the nature and circumstances of the act, the level of harm, the nature of the behavior, past incidences or past or continuing patterns of behavior, and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. 

Institutional (i.e., classroom, & school building) responses can range from school and community surveys, to mailings, to focus groups, to adoption of research-based bullying prevention program models, to trainings , to participation of parents and other community members and organizations, to small or large group presentations for fully addressing the actions and the school’s response to the actions, in the context of the acceptable student behavior and the consequences of such actions  and to the involvement of law enforcement officers.  

Since some acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be bias-related acts and potentially hate or bias crimes, school officials must report to law enforcement officials either serious acts or those which may be part of a larger pattern.

Retaliation or Reprisals for Reporting Acts of HIB Prohibited

Cornerstone Day School prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.  The consequence(s) and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the administration after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, in accordance with case law, federal and state statutes and regulations and CDS policies and procedures. 

A school employee or student shall not engage in reprisal, retaliation or false accusations against a victim, witness or one with reliable information about an act of HIB. 

Consequences for False Accusation of HIB

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including Short Term Suspensions N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Long-Term Suspensions N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3 or Expulsion N.J.A.C. 6a:7.5.

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be disciplined in accordance with CDS policies, procedures, and agreements. 

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor found to have falsely accused another as a means of HIB shall be determined by CDS Administration after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials.