In response to several recent incidents of physical and emotional intimidation of students at the hands of school staff both in New Jersey and across the country, State Senator Diane Allen is proposing legislation that will speed the disciplinary process for teachers and other school officials found to have engaged in bullying, intimidation, or harassment of students.

Senator Diane Allen (L) and Stuart Chaifetz (Senate Republicans)

Under the bill reported incidents of bullying by teachers must be investigated by the school's anti-bullying specialist within four to ten days. If evidence is found to substantiate the accusation, the school's superintendent must immediately report said finding to the district's board of education, and tenure charges must be filed by the board against the employee within three days. In the case of a non-tenured employee, substantiated misconduct would result in immediate termination and revocation of his or her state certifications.

"My bill extends New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act to bullying that is conducted by teachers and other school employees," says Allen. "Thankfully, these incidents are rare. However, recent events in Cherry Hill and Camden illustrate that current law does not provide for adequately swift or severe punishment of school staff who engage in this behavior."

Allen says the entire investigation should take no longer than 6 weeks.