8461 Reporting Violence, Vandalism, and Alcohol, and Other Drug Abuse

8461 Reporting Violence, Vandalism, and Alcohol, and Other Drug Abuse

[See POLICY ALERT No. 179]

The Board of Education shall observe “School Violence Awareness Week” during the week beginning with the third Monday in October of each year by organizing activities to prevent school violence. Activities shall include, but are not limited to, age-appropriate opportunities for pupil discussion on conflict resolution, issues of pupil diversity, and tolerance. The Board shall invite law enforcement personnel to join members of the teaching staff in the discussions and provide programs for school employees that are designed to help them recognize warning signs of school violence and to instruct them on recommended conduct during an incident of school violence.

Any school employee who observes or has direct knowledge from a participant or victim of an act of violence or the possession or distribution of alcohol or other drugs on school grounds, and any school employee who reports a pupil for being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, according to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-12 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-4.3, shall file a report describing the incident to the school Principal, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46. The report shall be on a form to include all of the incident detail and offender and victim information that are reported on the Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System (EVVRS).

The Building Principal, for each incident report of violence, vandalism, alcohol, or other drug abuse, shall review the incident report for accuracy; forward a copy of the incident report to the Superintendent; and notify the Superintendent of the action taken regarding the incident. The Board shall not discharge or subject to any manner of discrimination any school employee who files a report pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3.

The majority representative of the school employees’ bargaining units shall have access monthly to the number and disposition of all reported acts of school violence and vandalism, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46. Personally identifying information may be provided to the majority representative of the school employees’ bargaining units only in instances when school administrators have reason to believe that the safety of a school staff member is at risk.

The Superintendent annually shall submit a report to the Commissioner of Education of each incident of violence, vandalism and alcohol and other drug abuse in the school district utilizing the EVVRS in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3(e)1 through (e)3.

At an annual hearing held pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46, the Superintendent shall report to the Board all acts of violence and vandalism and incidents of alcohol and other drug abuse that occurred during the previous school year, according to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46. The proceedings of the public hearing shall be transcribed, kept on file by the Board in the Superintendent’s office and made available to the public, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46 and the Superintendent shall file the transcript of the public hearing with the Department of Education by November 1 of each year, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46.

Whenever it is alleged a school employee has knowingly falsified the annual report on violence and vandalism required under N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46, the Board shall make a determination regarding whether the employee committed the act. The Board shall provide written notice of the allegations to the employee and the employee shall be entitled to a hearing before the Board in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3(g)2. Upon a determination by the Board that an employee has knowingly falsified the annual violence and vandalism report, the Board may take appropriate action as outlined in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3(g)3. Any action taken by the Board shall be based on its consideration of the nature of the conduct, the circumstances under which it occurred, and the employee’s prior employment record. Any employee having been found responsible for the falsification of the annual report by the Board shall have the right to file a grievance under their respective bargaining agreements, appeal the Board’s determination to the Commissioner of Education and subsequently to the State Board of Education, or appeal the decision to the Superior Court of New Jersey. The availability of appeal options shall be based upon the action taken by the Board.

A Board of Education shall submit and implement corrective action plans for high incidences of violence, vandalism, or alcohol or other drug abuse upon notification by the Commissioner of Education.

N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46; 18A:36-5.1

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.2; 6A:16-5.3

Adopted: January 29, 2008