A N.J. District Says Bullying Law is a Drain on Resources

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Ridgewood school district is unhappy with a state mandate requiring schools to follow strict procedures for New Jersey's new anti-bullying law.

Ridgewood Board of Education (BOE) members unanimously passed a resolution last week contesting the district's adherence to the new Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Law. Because it is an unfunded mandate, officials say it creates a "significant drain on the human and financial resources of the district."

"We were investigating alleged bullying, intimidation, harassment situations before this. But now there's a law involved and it has become a very paper-bureaucratic process. It is costing the district time and money," said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Fishbein. "This resolution means in general that laws and mandates on schools should not be passed without funding."

The district is following in the footsteps of the Allamuchy Board of Education, which filed a complaint with The State of New Jersey Council of Local Mandates on Aug. 31, claiming that the extra costs incurred by districts amounts to an unfunded mandate.

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