An alert for parents of children in Jefferson Township, New Jersey Public Schools

So, why is this Roxbury website poking it's nose into Jefferson Township? 
Well, over the past year 2 Jefferson families contacted us after seeing our Roxbury site to express their exasperation over how little is done in Jefferson Twp Schools to address bullying, with their children bearing the scars of that inaction and denial. Additionally, in a direct conversation with a friend living in Jefferson Township, she confirmed that her kids see others bullied, with little done to address it.  We found that after putting up this site we saw some small improvement in Roxbury. Not dramatic, but some.
Perhaps after seeing this page some Jefferson parents will put up their own website to put Principals and Administrators on notice that the old school way of blaming the victim is morally depraved and sanctions the abuse of children who will be scared for life.  Educators: Do you want THAT to be your legacy??

Many parents don't recognize the far-reaching effects that school bullying has on a child:

- Bullying can take the form of outright violence, but doesn't need to

- Bullying can also take the form of consistent verbal harassment or ridicule against a child

- Bullying can take the form of shunning others and spreading rumors about them.

- Bullying interferes with education and can link learning with painful memories

- Bullying often leaves deep emotional scars on a child that last for life

- Being bullied has led to the suicide of hundreds of Middle & High School students nationwide

- School Administrators often make public pronouncements in September such as
   "a zero tolerance policy for bullying", especially when talking to parents at 'Back to school' nights, then
continue to do what they've always done: look the other way in most instances and assume bullying is normative in Public School, or blame the bullied victim. Anything but take effective action against individual bullies. In rare moments of candor, teachers will admit admit that the verbal interaction between students is often shocking & toxic.

The core issue is human nature, we expect 12 & 13 year olds to have moments of dumb & even cruel behavior, but when some Adult Public School Teachers possess no valid moral compass of their own and only have a minimal set of guidelines, knowing that the Teachers Union will deflect all attempts to hold staff accountable, it's no wonder children are hurt.

The State of New Jersey School Bully Guideline, revised in 2008, has the potential to be used in a Legal sense against Districts who routinely fail to actually protect students, and just running an anti-bullying assembly once a year doesn't meet the standard. Those assemblies only impress the kids who wouldn't bully to begin with. 

Most recently, on January 5, 2011 Governor Christie SIGNED INTO LAW a bill that enacts tough new rules that schools must follow to prevent bullying FOR ANY REASON and effectively address it when it does occur. School administrators who fail to abide by these would face disciplinary action.  Within a few months, as families of bullied children start to become aware of these rules, expect to see District Superintendents on the Hot Seat for systemic negligence in this matter of protecting children. See a news article here:

We have found that it is standard procedure for the School Administration to deny that bullying of any sort is a systemic problem at their school, no matter what the reality is. That denial is part of what they understand their job entails. When specific instances of bullying are brought to their attention, they address the culprit, most often in an ineffective way, but imagine the instance was isolated. The article link below from the American Psychological Association carries the headline:
"Bullying Widespread in Middle School, say Three Studies".  See it here:  http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct99/cf3.html 

If you feel your child is being bullied your first step is to get the facts. Sit down with your child and impress upon them that you need the facts, not just their feelings. There are occasions when the first time a child relates an incident of harassment, they are wound up and may exaggerate for effect, to get you to take action. You don't want to approach the school with half-truths, you'll just be seen as "crying wolf" and disregarded. The last thing our school administrators need are parents ranting without cause. When you do have the facts, contact the teacher, then if needed, the Principal. Keep a dated record of your contacts with them, you may need it later if you have to go to the Superintendent or School Board or Attorney. Here's the school district contact info:

Jefferson Township New Jersey Public Schools
28 Bowling Green Pky
Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

Hopefully this will be the start of a new day in Jefferson Township!
Your friends at  RoxburySchoolConcerns.org


If Jefferson School Administrators needed a reason to finally obey the law and take effective action against bullying:

In October 2007, after a pattern of being bullied at Jefferson Township NJ High School,
15 year old  CHRISTOPHER H - - - R   committed suicide:


This PAGE serves the Morris County New Jersey communities of  Oak Ridge and Lake Hopatcong NJ

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Posted February 12, 2011