School Bullying and Harassment Claims
Over 30 years of experience. Over $100 million recovered for clients.
School Bullying and Harassment Claims
Over 30 years of experience. Over $100 million recovered for clients.

New Jersey School Bullying and Harassment Claim Attorneys

Childhood bullying is a significant public health problem that increases the risk of poor mental health and adverse social and educational outcomes in childhood and young adulthood. With the passage of New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR), the state is considered as a national leader in addressing solid statutory and regulatory policies and programs to support the prevention and reporting of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) in schools. However, despite ABR, incidents of bullying, harassment, and intimidation continue to occur at alarming rates. 

According to the National Center for Education’s 2019 Statistics, 22 percent of students, ages twelve to eighteen, were reported as being bullied at school. Of those students, 25 percent of females experienced more bullying incidents compared to male reports, which was 19 percent. The top three subjects for bullying were rumors, insults, and exclusion from activities on purpose.

The New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm represents students and families who are victims of bullying, harassment, and intimidation (HIB) in New Jersey. Parents who suspect their child’s school district is violating New Jersey’s anti-bullying laws should contact our office to discuss your rights and remedies. 

New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights

New Jersey Lawmakers authorized the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights in January 2011 and amended the Act in January 2022. Under the ABR, schools must maintain a policy that bullying is considered as any unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. 

Bullying in New Jersey Schools

Under New Jersey law, HIB refers to any gesture, physical act, verbal, written, or electronic communication that is:

  • Motivated by color, race, ancestry, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a physical, sensory, or mental disability or any other distinguishing characteristic;
  • Occurs on the school premises, such as at a school-sponsored event, on a school bus, or off school grounds that substantially disrupts the operation of the school or a student’s rights;
  • Under certain  circumstances, a reasonable individual should be aware of how their actions will physically and emotionally harm another person or place the student in fear of harm; 
  • Insulting and affects a student or group; or
  • Creating a hostile learning environment that affects a student. 

In addition, the 2022 Amendments to the ABR set additional strict requirements regarding how education agencies address HIB incidents. No student should have to go through bullying and harassment alone. Seeking help and speaking with an attorney about your child’s rights and safety is the next best thing a parent can do. 

Examples of Bullying in New Jersey Schools 

Bullying can occur in a myriad of ways. Generally, bullying falls under the following categories:

  • Verbal, including teasing, taunting, and name-calling.
  • Physical, such as shoving, hitting, punching, stealing, and spitting.
  • Psychological, including spreading rumors, intentional exclusions, and breaking up relationships.
  • Electronically, such as intentionally using social media, texting, email, and other phone applications to harm others. 

These incidents frequently occur in school hallways, playgrounds, lunch rooms, locker rooms, and buses. 

Rate of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Investigations in North Jersey 

The New Jersey Department of Education tracks HIB investigations through its N.J. School Performance report. The data includes the nature of the incident and the number of alleged and confirmed HIB investigations. Data from 2020-2021 shows that there was a total of:

  • 560 HIB investigations and 366 confirmed accounts involving race;
  • 70 HIB investigations and 39 confirmed accounts involving religion;
  • 90 HIB investigations and 70 confirmed accounts involving ancestry;
  • 370 HIB investigations and 241 confirmed accounts involving gender;
  • 384 HIB investigations and 254 confirmed accounts involving sexual orientation;
  • 229 HIB investigations and 155 confirmed accounts involving disability; 
  • 1040 HIB investigations and 704 confirmed accounts involving other reasons; and 
  • 1371 HIB investigations without an identified nature. 

In prior years, the Morris Plains School District has been one of the top ten New Jersey schools with the most bullying incidents. 

Legal Claims and Damages for Bullying and Harassment in New Jersey

When evaluating a potential HIB case, an attorney can help families consider tort and civil rights claims. 

Federal Civil Rights Claims Involving Bullying

Those with evidence that the harassment, bullying, or intimidation was based on a protected class should consider asserting a federal anti-discrimination claim. In addition, some situations may trigger responsibilities under the U.S. Constitution. Depending on the case’s unique circumstances, potential damages may include injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and in rare cases, punitive damages. 

Tort Claims Involving Bullying 

There may be common-law causes of actions that a bullying victim can pursue to hold school districts and officials responsible for failing to respond appropriately to bullying. Damages and remedies in these bullying cases may include compensatory damages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death damages

Has Your Child Been the Victim of Relentless Bullying at School?

If you have a child in a public or private school in New Jersey who has been the victim of bullying, the school may be financially liable to your family. At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, our New Jersey personal injury lawyers have a long history of standing up for the rights of those injured due to others’ negligent and intentional conduct.  We offer free consultations to discuss their rights and explain how we can help hold a school accountable for the harm your child has suffered.  Please give us a call today at (973) 920-7900 to request a Free Confidential Consultation. There is never a fee unless you win. We have offices conveniently located in Denville and Morristown.

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- Richard B.
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and on top of my problems. They were quick to respond to my legal needs and were very attentive and showed real concern to my issues. I highly recommend them to anyone needing legal representation.

- Leslie W.
He was relentless

until the case was fully settled and all was in our favor. Thank you so much. We highly recommend his office to anyone.

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They were knowledgeable and settled my case in an expedited manner. I really felt they were on my side the whole way. Thank you Todd and staff for excellent treatment!

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Trust me, he will take you into his hands and take care of all your personal injury legal matters. They are friendly, professional, and go out all the way for you. Thank you Todd Leonard and staff.

- Frank O.

A proven track record of success

$29.5Million
Product Liability & Auto Accident
$3.5Million
Drunk Driving Accident
$2.94Million
Car Accident Road Defect
$2.5Million
Workplace Construction Accident
$2.25Million
Fall Down Accident
$1.8Million
Car Accident State Vehicle
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Car Accident State Vehicle
$1.5Million
Fatal Apartment Fire
$1.36Million
Auto Accident
$1.2Million
Auto Accident
$1.0Million
Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuit
$1.0Million
Slip & Fall Accident
$1.0Million
Fall Down Accident
$29.5Million
Product Liability & Auto Accident
$3.5Million
Drunk Driving Accident
$2.94Million
Car Accident Road Defect
$2.5Million
Workplace Construction Accident
$2.25Million
Fall Down Accident
$1.8Million
Car Accident State Vehicle
$1.5Million
Fatal Apartment Fire
$1.36Million
Auto Accident
$1.2Million
Auto Accident
$1.0Million
Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuit
$1.0Million
Slip & Fall Accident
$1.0Million
Fall Down Accident
$29.5Million
Product Liability & Auto Accident
$3.96Million
Car Accident/Brain Injury
$3.5Million
Drunk Driving Accident
$3.1Million
Slip and Fall: Workers’ Compensation & Premises Liability Accident
$2.94Million
Car Accident Road Defect
$2.5Million
Workplace Construction Accident
$2.25Million
Fall Down Accident
$1.8Million
Car Accident State Vehicle
$1.5Million
Fatal Fire Apartment
$1.36Million
Auto Accident
$1.2Million
Auto Accident
$1.1Million
Slip & Fall Accident

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Being injured or having a family member injured can have serious and lifelong consequences. We can try to ease the burden. Contact us today to learn more about how our team of experienced New Jersey accident attorneys can support you through these challenging times.