The Board of Education believes a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for children to learn. A pupil who is a victim of dating violence suffers academically and the pupil’s safety at school is jeopardized. Acts or incidents of dating violence at school whether they are verbal, sexual, physical, or emotional will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s pupil code of conduct.
All school staff members (administrative staff, instructional staff, support staff, and volunteers) shall take all reasonable measures to prevent acts or incidents of dating violence at school involving a pupil. All acts or incidents of dating violence at school shall be reported to the Principal or designed in accordance with the provisions outlined in Regulation 5519. A verbal report shall be made to the Principal or designee as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the pupil’s school day when the staff member witnesses or learns of an act or incident of dating violence at school. A written report regarding the act or incident shall be submitted to the Principal or designee by the reporting staff member no later than one day after the act or incident occurred.
School staff members are required to report all acts or incidents of dating violence at school they witness or upon receiving reliable information concerning acts or incidents of dating violence at school. Acts or incidents may include, but are not limited to: those characterized by physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse; digital or electronic acts or incidents of dating violence; and/or patterns of behavior which are threatening or controlling.
The Board of Education, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, shall adopt the guidelines and procedures outlined in Regulation 5519 for responding to acts or incidents of dating violence at school. The protocols outlined in Regulation 5519 have been established for any school staff member who witnesses or learns of an act or incident of dating violence at school and for school administrators to work with the victim and the aggressor of an act or incident of dating violence.
Dating violence statements and investigations shall be kept in files separate from pupil academic and discipline records to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of confidential information. Every act or incident of dating violence at school that is reported shall be documented in an appropriate manner. This should include statements, planning actions, and disciplinary measures as well as counseling and other support resources that are offered and prescribed to the victim or aggressor.
School administrators shall implement discipline and remedial procedures to address acts or incidents of dating violence at school consistent with the school’s pupil code of conduct. The policies and procedures specific to acts or incidents of dating violence at school shall be used to address the act or incident as well as serve as remediation, intervention, education, and prevention for all individuals involved. The responses shall be tiered with consideration given to the seriousness and the number of previous occurrences of acts or incidents in which both the victim and alleged aggressor have been involved.
Consequences may include, but are not limited to: admonishment, temporary removal from the classroom, classroom or administrative detention, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, reports to law enforcement, and/or expulsion. Retaliation towards the victim of any act or incident of dating violence shall be considered when administering consequences to the alleged aggressor based on the severity of the act or incident.
Remediation/intervention may include, but is not limited to: parent conferences, pupil counseling (all pupils involved in the act or incident), peer support groups, corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experiences, supportive pupil interventions (Intervention and Referral Services – I&RS), behavioral management plans, and/or alternative placements.
A pattern of behaviors may be an important sign a pupil is involved in an unhealthy or abusive dating relationship. The warning signs listed in Regulation 5519 shall educate the school community on the characteristics that a pupil is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship may exhibit. Many of these warning signs make a connection to one pupil in the relationship asserting control and power over the other. Recognizing one or more signs of teen dating violence plays an important role in preventing, educating, and intervening in acts or incidents of dating violence.
The Board of Education shall make available to pupils and their families information on safe, appropriate school, family, peer, and community resources available to address dating violence.
The Board of Education shall incorporate age-appropriate dating violence education in grades seven through twelve through the health education curriculum in alignment with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The educational program shall include, but is not limited to, a definition of dating violence, recognizing the warning signs of dating violence, and the characteristics of healthy relationships.
Upon written request to the school Principal, a parent/legal guardian of a pupil less than eighteen years of age shall be permitted, within a reasonable period of time after the request is made, to examine the dating violence education instruction materials developed by the school district.
Notice of Policy and Regulation 5519 shall appear in all district publications that set forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for pupils within the district and in any handbook.
N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.23a; 18A:37-33; 18A:37-34; 18A:37-35; 18A:37-37
New Jersey Department of Education Model Policy and Guidance for Incidents
Involving Dating Violence – September 2011
Adopted: November 2012