Harassment and Bullying Policies

The Board of North Star Academy prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying by or towards any student and school community member.

About Our Policy

A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards.

“Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” is defined as any gesture or written, verbal, or physical act; or any use of electronic or wireless communication (including telephone, cell phone, computer, or pager)–whether it be a single incident or series of incidents–that takes place on school grounds/property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus or off school grounds as provided for in section 16 of P.L. 2010,c 122, and that:

  •  is motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression; or a mental, physical, or sensory disability; or,
  •  by any other distinguishing characteristic; and
  •  a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act(s) will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student, damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; or
  •  has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students; and
  • creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education, or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.

North Star Academy expects students to conduct themselves in keeping with the Core Values of Caring, Respect, Responsibility, Courage, and Justice. In addition, we strongly believe that passive action can be as significant as active action—witnessing a wrongdoing can implicate the observer. Students are expected to do what they reasonably and safely can do to divert a situation, and must also inform a North Star staff member.

Consequences and/or remedial action for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall be varied and graded based on a variety of factors, including the developmental age and maturity levels of the parties involved, the levels of harm, the nature of the behaviors, past incidences, or past or continuing patterns of behavior and performance, and the relationships between the parties involved. Concluding whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on the facts and surrounding circumstances.

Consequences for students who commit acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion.

Remedial actions for individual students who commit such acts may include a behavioral assessment or evaluation, and/or supportive interventions and referral services.

Consequences and/or remedial actions for a staff member who commits an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall be disciplined in accordance with school policies, procedures, and agreements.

School leadership is responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of this policy. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to school leadership. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy.

While submission of the report form is not required, the reporting party is encouraged to use the report form available from school leadership to submit a written or electronic report. Oral reports also shall be considered official reports. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

School leadership, including the principal or the principal’s designee, is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In so doing, school leadership shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of the alleged incident for any report of policy violations and complaints.

Some acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be isolated incidents requiring that the school respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious, or parts of a larger pattern or systematic problem of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that they require a response either at the classroom, school building, or school district levels, or by law enforcement officials. Parents shall be promptly notified in situations where students are to be or have been interviewed by law enforcement officials.

Remedial measures at both the individual and the institutional level shall be designed to correct the problem behavior, prevent another occurrence of the problem, protect and provide support for the victim of the act, and take corrective action for documenting systemic problems related to harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Institutional (i.e., classroom, school building, school district) responses can range from school and community surveys, to mailings, to focus groups, to adoption of research-based bullying prevention program models, to social skills training for students, to training for certified and non-certified staff, to participation of parents and other community members and organizations, to small or large group presentations for fully addressing the actions and the school’s response to the actions, in the context of the acceptable student behavior and the consequences of such actions and to involvement of law enforcement officers, including school resource officers. In addition, resources (e.g., counseling) will be made available to support individual victims of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and such support will be provided in a manner that does not stigmatize victim(s).

North Star prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying be they student, school employee, volunteer, or visitor. The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by school leadership after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act.

Students, school employees, volunteers, and visitors may not falsely accuse another as a means of retaliation or as a means of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation, or bullying range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be discipline in accordance with school policies, procedures, and agreements. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer, found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be determined by school leadership after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials.

This policy, as part of the North Star Academy Code of Student Conduct, applies to all school grounds including school-sponsored functions and school buses.  It is publicized on the North Star Academy website and is distributed annually to all school staff, students, parents, and guardians.

Anti-Bullying Self-Assessment & Contact Information

Assessment

Posted per the Anti-bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR) (P.L.2010, c.122)

Anti-Bullying Contacts

Brian Maher, Director of Operations
(973) 373-8150
BMaher@northstaracademy.org

Alexander Street Elementary School
Shannon Benson, Dean of Students
(973) 854-9090
SBenson@northstaracademy.org

Central Avenue Middle School
Cedric Thorbes, Dean of Students
(973) 474-5133
cedric.thorbes@northstaracademy.org

Clinton Hill Middle School
Nicholas Mele, Dean of Students
(973) 484-2221
nmele@northstaracademy.org

Downtown Middle School
Jamal McCullough, Dean of Students
(973) 642-0101
jmccullough@northstaracademy.org

Fairmount Elementary School
Christopher Deoleo, Dean of Students
(973) 854-1760
cdeoleo@northstaracademy.org

Liberty Elementary School
Shavone Dawkins, Dean of Students
(973) 474-5250
SDawkins@northstaracademy.org

Lincoln Park Elementary School
Dania Edouard, Dean of Students
(973) 854-0770
dania.edouard@northstaracademy.org

Lincoln Park High School
Juan Casillas, Dean of Students
(973) 474-5155
Juan.Casillas@northstaracademy.org

Vailsburg Elementary School
Lamar Middleton, Dean of Students
(973) 373-8150
lamar.middleton@northstaracademy.org

Vailsburg Middle School
Kesete Thompkins, Dean of Students
(973) 286-6940
kthompkins@northstaracademy.org

Washington Park High School
Mikal McDaniel, Dean of Students
(973) 286-6390
mmcdaniel@northstaracademy.org

West Side Park Elementary School
Aaron Mayers-Cobb, Dean of Students
(973) 286-6942
aron.mayerscobb@northstaracademy.org

West Side Park Middle School
Duke Jumah, Dean of Students
(973) 474-5260
Duke.Jumah@northstaracademy.org