Florham Park Board of Education Works to Put an End to Bullying

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – During their monthly meeting in August, Florham Park’s Board of Education discussed the very important and on-going topic of bullying. Board member Fabienne Crimi presented the topic, siting the June suicide of Mallory Grossman. She stated, “It’s bigger than we can ever imagine.”

The Board stated that it is an on-going issue they are constantly working on; especially cyber-bullying.  More children have iPhones and are on social media.Efforts are focused on keeping  kids off of their phones in classrooms. However, Crimi pointed out that at a school function, a “Fun Night”, she observed kids crowding around one student who had an iPhone out.

The Board will discuss with the PTA ways to keep students off of their phones  at school functions/social functions and emphasize socialization.

Another way they are addressing bullying is by keeping their HIB- Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying, grades high. According to the State of New Jersey Department of Education website, “New Jersey has been a leader in the establishment of a strong statutory, regulatory, policy and program framework to support the prevention, remediation and reporting of HIB in schools.”

The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights contains certain standards schools need to follow to ensure safety in the schools. Dr. Melissa Varley, Superintendent for the Florham Park school district, said that all of the schools in the district are only one point away from a perfect score.

Some other topics discussed during the meeting was teacher David Kaluzavich being accepted into the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standard) Teacher Leader Program at Raritan Valley. Dr. Varley stated, “It is an award and an honor.” She was elated that one of Florham Park’s teachers was given this accolade.

Board member, Skip Shanley wanted to approve a NJ Aspiring Administrators Academy, a professional learning community to support teachers that are interested in becoming assistant principals and supervisors. It would be at no cost to the District.

He also wanted to approve a National Junior Honor Society at the middle school. It would be an academic club, however there will not be an emphasis on academics. It will focus more on creating enthusiasm for scholarships, stimulating a desire to be a part of the community, promoting leadership, and promoting character.

Both points were approved towards the end of the meeting.