Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Senator Sweeney we will not make any changes to current Anti-Bullying Laws

It looks like Senator Sweeney does not care about the wellbeing of  New Jersey children especially juveniles. He does not care about the self esteem, dignity, constitutional & civil rights as well as mental and physical health of these children. His irresponsible response that as Senate President he will not entertain any changes in the current policy even if it concerns the lives of these children shows how much he cares for the New Jersey children.

First of all legislatures like him in both houses, have enacted a law without using their brains and concerns to go into the details how it can affect the life of a juvenile. Now they still wants to continue with a bad policy despite there being public protest for their irresponsible, illegal actions against New Jersey's children.

Senator Sweeney must know that some towns including Mayor of Teaneck Mohammed Hameeduddin wants to strike down this anti-juvenile policy that has given the  schools unprecedented policing policing authority by providing that all bullying incidents were fair game—even if they took place outside of school hours, off school property, and during times or events that were not school related. The American Civil Liberties Union has testified that this was an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

The Council on Local Mandates has their own reasons against the HIB policy. Recently it has struck down the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. This little-known council is authorized to vacate laws if they contain unfunded mandates, or orders without funding. The council ruled that this legislation, passed in January 2011 and implemented in September, was such an unfunded mandate.

PLEASE WRITE TO SENATE, ASSEMBLY & GOVERNOR TO WAKE UP AND SHOW SOME COMPASSION FOR JUVENILES. THEY MUST TAKE AN IMMIDIATE ACTION TO REVISE THE CURRENT HIB POLICY.


REPRODUCTION FROM THE ACTUAL DOCUMENT

NEW JERSEY SENATE

STEPHENE M. SWEENEY
Senate President
Email:SenSweeney@njleg.org
January 11, 2012

Rajendra Gandhi


68 New Providence Rd
Springfield, NJ 07081

Dear Mr. Gandhi:

            Thank you for contacting my office regarding your concerns on New Jersey’s recently enacted, “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.” I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns on this issue.

            As you are aware, Assembly Bill 3466 was passed by both the houses of the New Jersey Legislatures, and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on January 5, 2011. This law, which I supported, implements a number of recommendations made by the New Jersey Commission on Bullying in Schools, which was created to examine New Jersey’s approach to the issue of bullying. Please rest assured that I believe that any accusations of discrimination must be taken seriously, and it is possible that changes may need to be made to this law in the future, but I also believe that we must allow for time to fully implement this law before making decisions that could impact the wellbeing of our state’s children.

            Once again, thank you for contacting my office to express your opinion on this matter.

                                                                        Sincerely,
                                                                        Signed
                                                            Stephen M.. Sweeney
                                                               Senate President
                                                        Third Legislative District

HIS COUNTER PART IN ASSEMBLY SPEAKER SHEILA OLIVER & DAY TIME TOWN HALL MEETINGS WITH CAPTIVE AUDIENCE GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE HAS YET TO RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING REQUEST AS OF MARCH 01, 2012.
                                                                       
Dec. 15, 2011
Gov. Chris Christie
President of New Jersey Senate
Speaker of New Jersey Assembly

RE: Request for Fresh Look at HIB Policy for under 15 yrs old Students
       HIB incident October 15, 2011 FMG Middle School, Springfield, NJ

Honorable Gov. Christie, Senator Sweeney and Assemblywoman Oliver:

The attached details of the HIB incident of October 15, 2011 should serve as an eye opener for educators, parents, school officials and our politicians. Our elected representatives; Town Council Representative, Mayors, Senators, Free Holders, Assembly Representatives, Senators, main stream Media and above all Governor Christie who was most vocal to push the new HIB policy must take a fresh look at the HIB policy that has been implemented in Elementary and Middle School. We must do some rational thinking are we going too far and making the lives of Elementary and Middle school students too complicated? Rather then giving them free space to breath are we choking them by making the schools a scary place where all the time they are too scared to say some thing to their fellow classmates out of even natural instinct which is natural part of growing up. 

We all know lately the society has become very sensitive on the issue of bullying. Even the very learned and experienced academicians and attorneys expert in Education matter can not define the exact definition of a bullying based on verbal comments not related to some one’s ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities; when such a statement is a joke and when it is bullying. When adults can not understand it completely how these 12 years old involved in this particular incident of October 15 will understand it? 
       
Every one should condone bullying of all types but still we need to define bullying for comments which are too simple in nature; in writing and must educate all students. We can not leave it on the Educators to define bullying on case by case such as what happened on Oct. 15, 2011 as they feel like especially to hurt minority students may be to save their School Boards from potential law suits by victims or their parents.

This incident is an eye opener for all of us and we must do some hard thinking on what can happen even with a plain vanilla word "Yeah there is" added by Student 3 to the comment of Student 2 that there was a special Bus taking Student 1 home later. We have to find solutions for this problem especially to give a feeling to the minorities that the lives, racial dignity and liberty of their children are safe in New Jersey Schools. They do have racial equality and they will be treated as equal citizens in their Schools. We need to fine tune the current HIB policy that is not in the best interest of Elementary & Middle School students. Sadly, it does not come as a surprise that it can be used to harass minority students as done by Mr. Plias/Board in the above incident.

I urge the Legislatures of New Jersey that:

  1. They must make age appropriate changes to the HIB policy that has been enforced without due consideration of its repercussions in Elementary and Middle Schools especially to stop its misuse against minorities.
  2. Every Child must have Miranda Rights that they can not be interrogated in the absence of their parent or attorneys.
  3. The parent must be informed of the incident in writing by Courier as well as other means of communication. Let it be mandatory that the parent of the accused student must contact in person with in 3 School Days of the incident.
  4. The investigator must wait for the response of the parent of the involved student in person before interrogating or asking any thing to that Student.
  5. The parent must be provided with the preliminary investigation report before it is presented to the Board of Education.
As a community we must work together for the sake of unity among all to take some actions to protect the interest of minority children in New Jersey Schools from possible future racial discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying by Educators and Board members with made up/fabricated bullying charges just because they are not from the rulers Jewish Community or preferred Christian community of America.
Respectfully Submitted
Rajendra Gandhi                                                
Father of Student 3
Encl: Details of October 15, 2011 HIB incident with all attachments as sent on December 8 & 15 to County Superintendent along with hand written letter to Governor. (28 pages)

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