The content here is provided for informational purposes only.
If you are in immediate crisis, please call 911 or visit an emergency room.
If you need immediate support, contact one of the following 24 hour call services: Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ Youth: 1-866-488-7386, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) | 1-888-628-9454 (en español)
Call Garden State Equality’s Anti-Bullying Hotline at 1 (877) NJ-BULLY anytime between 10am-7pm whether you are a bullied student or the parent or concerned friend of a bullied student. Call us whether you have been bullied by another student at school, after school or online. Call us no matter the reason you have been bullied – you do not have to be LGBT. Garden State Equality was the driving force behind New Jersey’s new anti-bullying law, so we know it backwards and forwards.
Garden State Equality also has a Youth Caucus through which youth from across New Jersey – LGBT, straight and questioning – meet to support one another and learn to advocate for equality and school safety. If you’d like to participate in our Youth Caucus, email Shannon Cuttle at Cuttle@GardenStateEquality.org and please be sure to include your first name and the best phone number for you.
To prevent bullying, Garden State Equality visits schools to train administrators, teachers and other staff about the new law, and how to comply with it in a practical yet effective manner. We also conduct a different kind of training geared especially to students, and tailor these trainings to be age-appropriate to the schools we visit.
If you would like Garden State Equality to visit your school to do an anti-bullying training, please email your name, position, school, town and phone number to Cuttle@GardenStateEquality.org or call Garden State Equality’s Anti-Bullying Hotline at 1 (877) NJ-BULLY.
You personally can help Garden State Equality enforce the new bullying law
without even leaving your home or office. Here’s how.
Now more about the state’s new anti-bullying law:
In January 2011, Governor Chris Christie signed the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, a bold new model to counter school bullying. In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Education issued a study ranking New Jersey’s anti-bullying law highly among the anti-bullying laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. And The New York Times calls the law “the nation’s toughest law against bullying and harassment in schools.” Garden State Equality is proud to have been the architect of the law and to have led the historic statewide campaign for its passage. Today, states across America are looking to our Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights as models for their own legislation.
The push for a new anti-bullying law in New Jersey began two years before the passing of Tyler Clementi in September 2010. Garden State Equality had long anticipated that such a tragedy could happen, given the weakness of the state’s previous anti-bullying law, enacted in 2002. When Tyler passed away, we had already been drafting a new bill with legislators, leading experts and other advocacy organizations.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW JERSEY’S ANTI-BULLYING BILL OF RIGHTS:
● America’s first anti-bullying law that sets statewide deadlines for incidents of bullying to be reported, investigated and resolved.
Under the new law, teachers and other school personnel must report incidents of bullying to principals on the same day as a bullying incident. An investigation of the bullying must begin within one school day. A school must complete its investigation of bullying within 10 school days, after which there must be a resolution of the situation.
● America’s first anti-bullying law to provide for an anti-bullying coordinator in every district, and an anti-bullying specialist in every school to lead an anti-bullying team that also includes the principal, a teacher and a parent.
● America’s first anti-bullying law to grade every school on how well it is countering bullying – and to require that every school post its grade on the home page of its website. Also on the home page of its website, every school must post contact information for its anti-bullying specialist.
● America’s first anti-bullying law to ensure quality control in anti-bullying training by requiring the involvement of experts from academia and the not-for-profit sector.
● America’s first anti-bullying law to provide training to teachers in suicide prevention specifically with regard to students from communities at high risk for suicide.
● America’s first anti-bullying law to apply not only to students in grades K-12, but also to higher education. Public universities in New Jersey will have to distribute their anti-bullying policies to all students within seven days of the start of the fall semester.
● The law applies to extracurricular school-related settings, such as cyberbullying, school buses, school-sponsored functions and to bullying off school grounds that carries over into school.
● The law requires a school to notify the parents of all students involved in an incident, including the parents of the bully and the bullied student, and offers counseling and intervention services.
● The law mandates year-round anti-bullying instruction appropriate to each grade, and an annual Week of Respect in every school that will feature anti-bullying programming.
● The law applies to all bullied students. In addition to protecting students based on the categories of actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression, the law has clear language protecting students bullied for any other reason.
LGBT YOUTH SUPPORT GROUPS IN NEW JERSEY
Again, Garden State Equality has a Youth Caucus through which youth from across New Jersey – LGBT, straight and questioning – meet to support one another and learn to advocate for equality and school safety. If you’d like to participate in our Youth Caucus, email Shannon Cuttle at Cuttle@GardenStateEquality.org and please be sure to include your first name and the best phone number for you.
New Jersey is home to several other exceptional youth support programs. They include:
HiTOPS in Princeton in Central Jersey promotes adolescent health and well-being. HiTOPS’ First & Third program is the organization’s educational and social support group for LGBT youth. It meets the first and third Saturdays of each month, from 2:30 – 4:30, at HiTOPS, 21 Wiggins Street, Princeton.
The Pride Connections Center in Jersey City in North Jersey hosts its YouthConnect Drop-In for LGBT youth ages 13 to 18 every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The Center is at 32 Jones Street in Jersey City. The Center also hosts a support group for HIV+ people ages 13 to 30 every Monday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
The Project WOW! Youth Center in Newark in North Jersey is a support group specializing in providing HIV prevention services for young men of color who have sex with men.
The Camden Area Health Education Center’s Keeping it Safe program in Camden in South Jersey educates, encourages, and supports young gay young men make informed decisions that will reduce their risk for HIV, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The group meets every Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Camden Area Health Education Center, 514 Cooper Street, Camden.
Finally, if you are an LGBT parent raising a young child or children, Rainbow Families of New Jersey provides social and educational events where kids can have fun, parents and prospective parents can meet and network with one another, and children can see other families like theirs.