Conference Addresses Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying in Educational Settings

Presentations and workshops focus on helping educators administer New Jersey’s new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights law

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, at the University Conference Center on December 9.

Sponsored by the Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership in the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS), the conference is intended for public school teachers, school counselors, social workers, substance awareness coordinators, school psychologists, administrators, and school safety/anti-bullying teams, and will address bullying in school settings, providing programs to help schools comply with the new law, and dealing with bullies and victims in the most effective way.

“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 CEHS 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.”

The conference’s presentations and workshops will be conducted by Montclair State University faculty, visiting university faculty, public school and district administrators, and government officials. It is coordinated by Professor Catherine Roland.  Among the featured speakers are:

  • 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, who will moderate a panel of current superintendents and administrators, including Susan Martz, director of the NJDOE's Office of Educational Support Services on the topic: Varying Perspectives of the Anti-Bullying Mandate: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities.
  • Joseph Oluwole, attorney and Montclair State University assistant professor, and Gina Grasso, teacher, Caldwell/West Caldwell School District, who will provide further interpretation of the anti-bullying law and its implications.
  • Sara Goldstein, Montclair State University associate professor, whose research focuses on bullying, who 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.

Other presentations include:

  • Mental Health Issues and Long Term Effects of Bullying Behavior with Middle and High School Students
  • A Systemic Approach to Bullying Prevention Using School Culture Assessment
  • Children Who Bully: How to Help
  • Cyberbullying: Using Texting and Internet to Fight Back
  • Co-constructing the Shield: Assisting Children with Neurological Differences To Protect Themselves from Bullying Behaviors
  • The “It Gets Better” Initiative: Strategies for Addressing Bullying of LGBT Students
  • Investigation and Due Process for Middle and High School Students: Policy as a Tool for Fairness and Equity
  • Breaking Down Walls and Fostering Healthy Adult Relationships: Promoting Positive School Climate