EAST HANOVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey’s anti-bullying law is the toughest in the nation. But now, one district in the Garden State is taking the new law a step further.
In the East Hanover School District all eyes will be on you if you choose to bully another student.
“We are actually trying to create an environment of uncertainty for that bully,” Crime Stoppers Gary Moses told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Monday.
The school district is partnering up with Crime Stoppers so that students can anonymously call or text in a bullying incident.
“What we’re attempting to do is meet the child who is suffering in silence, the child who doesn’t have the strength or fortitude to talk to a teacher or superintendent. That’s the child who’s really in trouble,” East Hanover Superintendent Joseph Ricca said.
The superintendent cautioned the district gets the information first and will decide how to handle it, whether it’s counseling or detention. Sloan spoke to several middle schoolers who said they like the idea.
“It’s just an easier way of doing it if you, yourself, don’t want get involved and become targeted,” eighth grader Matthew Pateiro said.
The program, though, is not without controversy. Some parents said it’s like big brother is watching their children.
“You’re dealing with middle schoolers and maybe they can take something and drum it up to be bullying — and maybe it’s really not,” parent Lisa Deriggi said.
“This is not an Orwellian or big brother concept. What it is is a way of ferreting people out who operate under a system that allows them to bully these children,” Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said.
The representative for Crime Stoppers said throughout the years they haven’t had abuse of the system and that all their calls have been legitimate.
The district said police would handle a bullying incident that involves a criminal act.
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