Conference to Help Educators Administer New Jersey’s New Anti-Bullying Bill: Workshops to Address Legal Compliance and Effective Strategies for Dealing with Bullies

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The state of New Jersey’s new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights law, which went into effect on September 1, 2011, requires all public schools to develop policies, professional development programs for staff, and mechanisms to assess and report results. To assist schools in complying with the complexities of this law, Montclair State University is hosting a conference, HIB/Anti-Bullying Initiatives: Progress, Evaluation, and Strategies in K-12 Schools.

“New Jersey’s anti-bullying laws are among the toughest in the nation, requiring that our schools protect children from harassment, intimidation, and bullying at all grade levels," said Ada Beth Cutler, Montclair State University dean.

The state of New Jersey’s new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights law, which went into effect on September 1, 2011, requires all public schools to develop policies, professional development programs for staff, and mechanisms to assess and report results. To assist schools in complying with the complexities of this law, Montclair State University is hosting a conference, HIB/Anti-Bullying Initiatives: Progress, Evaluation, and Strategies in K-12 Schools.

The conference will address bullying in school settings, providing programs to help schools comply with the new law, and deal with bullies and victims in the most effective ways. It will provide information that is critical for teachers, school counselors, social workers, substance awareness coordinators, school psychologists, administrators, and school safety/anti-bullying teams.

The conference, sponsored by the Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership in the College of Education and Human Services, will take place on the campus of Montclair State University in the University Hall Conference Center on Friday, December 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is required.

“New Jersey’s anti-bullying laws are among the toughest in the nation, requiring that our schools protect children from harassment, intimidation, and bullying at all grade levels. The College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State has long been committed to working with our partners in schools and districts to ensure student success,” said Dean Ada Beth Cutler. “This conference provides another opportunity for us to work together to develop solutions to the critical issue of bullying in schools.”

Conference speakers include Retired Lt. Gary Moleta, training and development coordinator for the New Jersey Association of School Resource Officers, who is scheduled to speak from the law enforcement perspective on district and school report writing, specifics of investigations, judicial counseling concerns, evidence handling, and district policies and procedures.

Gerald Vernotica, Montclair State University associate professor and former assistant commissioner, Division of Field Services, NJDOE, will moderate a panel of current superintendents and administrators, including Susan Martz, director of the NJDOE's Office of Educational Support Services.

Joseph Oluwole, attorney and Montclair State University assistant professor, and Gina Grasso, teacher, Caldwell/West Caldwell School District, will provide further interpretation of the anti-bullying law and its implications.

Sara Goldstein, Montclair State University associate professor, whose research focuses on bullying, will speak regarding why adolescents habitually rely on aggressive strategies in peer conflict, and how aggression and victimization in the peer group impacts individual development and academic success.

The conference will also feature presentations and workshops from Montclair State University faculty members, school administrators, and government officials on topics including:

  •     Cyberbullying: Using Texting and the Internet to Fight Back
  •     The “It Gets Better” Initiative: Strategies for Addressing Bullying of LGBT Middle and High School Students
  •     Children Who Bully and Dynamics of Their Families: How to Help
  •     Mental Health Issues and Long Term Effects of Bullying Behavior on Students
  •     Breaking Down Walls, Empowering Staff, and Fostering Healthy Adult Relationships: Promoting a Positive School Climate
  •     Co-constructing the Shield: Assisting children with neurological differences protect themselves from bullying behaviors

Montclair State University
Montclair State University offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs to a highly diverse population of 18,500 students in an expansive university setting combined with an intensive focus on student learning and success. For more information, visit montclair.edu.

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Diane Reed
Montclair State University
973-655-4334
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