An alert for teens and parents of students of Roxbury High School, Roxbury Township, Succasunna New Jersey NJ

Roxbury High School, Roxbury Township, New Jersey NJ bullying

In an all-morning Orientation for incoming students held on September 3, 2008, 9th grade students were introduced to the administrative staff, given an overview of a normal day, warned to arrive on time, warned against using drugs & alcohol and given a tour of the school building.

All seemed complete, except that administrators had just left the door open for one of the most common forms of failure among High School Students, Verbal Bullying.

Before School started, we wrote to the Vice-Principal in charge of student discipline:

Hello Mr. R _ _ _ ,

We received the Introduction packet last week as  _ _ _  enters 9th grade. We recognize the considerable work that went into it. While it was detailed in regard to holding students to a certain code of behavior to allow them to continue in extracurricular activities, it seemed to miss a far more basic standard which the State of New Jersey enacted into law in 2003:

The part of this that pertains to verbal bullying was largely ignored by most of the Eisenhower staff during the upheaval of the last 2 years, much to _ _ _ 's determent.  _ _ _  was verbally harassed by several students . . .  Our pleas fell on deaf ears until we put up a website to call attention to the problem.

Will your Orientation lay down the Law re VERBAL BULLYING ???

Mr. & Mrs.  _ _ _

We found that in Middle School, the official position of the staff was that Verbal Bullying is not a concern, since "it's not a systemic problem". Privately, they would hint that it is. So, they were lying in public. On the second full day of High School, our student became the target of sustained verbal bullying. While we took direct action with the staff to address that incident, this page is intended to educate parents as well as the "educators" re the monstrous effect verbal bullying has on a student. Come to think of it, we'll keep it updated as well.

SEPT 29, 2008 UPDATE:  Upon seeing a situation in School mishandled by the staff,
this thought came to mind:
Imagine asking a reasonable, intelligent educator a theoretical question:
Could a High School staff member ever make a mistake in dealing with a student?
 Of course, any fair-minded person would have to say that a mistake could be possible. After all,
teachers are only human and sometimes act on misinformation or misunderstanding.
Now, switch the pronouns and ask:
Have you just made a mistake in dealing with my child?
Of course the answer would be "On no, I didn't made a mistake". 
Hmmm, so just who are making those mistakes ??!!!

January 23, 2009 Observation: While we think it's great that the school has very strong programs in Sports & Music, for kids not involved with either the tendency is for staff to shunt them aside. If the truth dared be said aloud, our District worships at the altar of Sports & Music, and little real effort, LITTLE REAL EFFORT is made to promote and staff extra-curricular activities outside these areas.


Studies show that attempts to bully reach their worst in the Middle School / Junior High School years but can continue through High School. 

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 against a child

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

- Verbal bullying interferes with education and can link learning with painful memories

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

- Being bullied has led to the suicide of dozens of School students nationwide

- School Administrators sometimes 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, or blame the bullied victim. Anything but take effective action against individual bullies. In rare moments of candor, a number of Roxbury teachers have admitted to us that the verbal interaction between students is often shocking & toxic. The common use of profanity is tolerated by RHS staff, and results in many student feeling under siege, not knowing when  a verbal assault against them is coming, and knowing that the teachers will do nothing to correct the toxic atmosphere.

The State of New Jersey School Bully Guideline  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. 

We have found that it is standard procedure for the School Administration & Teachers 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. They feel pressure from the District to protect against Legal Liability, and the Teachers have the pressure of the local Union Rep, and in New Jersey, the NJEA Teachers Union is so strong and feared that it is a paradigm unto itself in organizational bullying. (We had 2 personal friends who are members of NJEA state that clearly) When specific instances of bullying are brought to their attention, they address the culprit, 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: 

If your child is being bullied your first step is to contact the teacher, then 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.

A report on the academic situation at Roxbury, below.

At left is a scan of a page from the Roxbury High School report page on the website of the New Jersey Department of Education.

Adequate Yearly Progress:  NO

School classified "in need of improvement": YES


This site serves the Morris County New Jersey communities of  Succasunna, Kenvil,  Ledgewood, Landing, Port Morris, Lower Berkshire Valley and Mount Arlington NJ

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Updated January 5, 2013