N.J. AG says bullied student, school board reach settlement

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 19, 2013

TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) -- New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said Wednesday a settlement has been reached between the Board of Education in Old Bridge and a former student who was bullied for nearly four years.

The board will pay the student, identified as H.D., $60,000 to resolve allegations the school district did not effectively address the alleged harassment of the student.

Under the terms of the settlement, the school district also will pay $15,000 to the Division on Civil Rights and implement bias-based harassment awareness, complaint policies and training throughout the district.

"This is a fair settlement that resolves disturbing allegations -- that a young man went to school each day for a period of years and, on many of those days, endured intense verbal harassment and even physical assaults," Hoffman said in a statement.

"No young person should be subjected to this kind of treatment. As we enter a new school year, hopefully this case will serve as a reminder that the state takes this issue very seriously."

More than 50 students allegedly participated in bullying H.D. over the course of four years in Jonas Salk Middle School and Old Bridge High School. The alleged harassment took place at school, on the school bus and online and included derogatory comments, name calling and physical contact.

Hoffman's office found that while Old Bridge disciplined a total of 12 students, ranging from a verbal warning to in-school suspension, the school district failed to attempt any prevention measures or broader outreach to the students.

Additionally, a former principal at Jonas Salk Middle School also allegedly counseled H.D. to consider transferring to another school and said he would understand if the student chose to respond physically to his tormentors.

More News

The Record Network