Like other Jesuit schools throughout the world, Saint Peter’s Prep (“Prep” or the “School”) carries out its educational tradition stemming from the vision of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, who viewed education as one of the most effective means of building the Kingdom of God, involving not only the mind, but also the heart and will, characterized by the effort to achieve metanoia, a profound change of the heart. Prep educates its young men with the goals of becoming open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice. If the School is to properly guide its students throughout their years at Prep, as they strive to attain these goals, the standards Prep sets for its young men must be reflective of the times in which they are to be implemented and enforced.
In furtherance of these standards, Prep is committed to providing an educational atmosphere that is free of any conduct that can be considered harassing, abusive, disorderly, or disruptive. Prep recognizes and will endeavor to protect the rights of all its students to be treated with respect and courtesy. Actions or comments by any student or any member of the faculty, staff, administration or supervisor, whether intentional or unintentional, that results in the harassment, intimidation or bullying of any student will not be tolerated. Credible acts of harassment, bullying, or hazing by a student will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal of the student. Students who file false or frivolous charges may also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Prep will also report any and all instances of such conduct to appropriate governmental authorities to the extent required by law.
The School is committed to providing a learning environment that is free of harassment, intimidation, bullying or hazing (“HIBH”). The Principal or the Dean of Students, and their designees, shall instruct all students and employees of Prep to recognize and correct speech and behavior patterns that may be contrary to this policy, regardless of whether the party responsible for speech and/or actions engaged in the same with or without the intent to offend others or be humorous. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based upon sex, sexual preference, gender, race, ethnicity, age, or religious identification have no place at Prep, and will not be tolerated. That one only intended to be funny or believed that the recipient of his conduct welcomed it or seemingly accepted it will not in any way constitute an excuse for such speech or behavior. Any member of the Prep community who believes that this policy has been violated shall immediately report the nature and substance of any alleged violation to the appropriate Prep representative. For students, an appropriate Prep representative includes any teacher, coach, counselor or administrator, up to and including the Dean of Students and/or the Principal. For any employee, an appropriate Prep representative includes any supervisor or administrator, up to and including the Principal and/or the President. All complaints of alleged violations of this policy will be examined and reviewed fully and confidentially, and all persons are assured that no retaliation or reprisals of any kind for reporting any alleged incident or possible violation of this policy will be tolerated. If those reporting alleged violations request that they not be identified to the person accused of violating the policy or to others, the School will make reasonable efforts to honor the request; however, the School’s need to examine and review all complaints and alleged violations of this policy thoroughly may make such a request for confidentiality unworkable or impossible. All students and employees identified as having information related to an alleged violation of this policy shall cooperate with and in the examination and review process. No one at the School, whether a student, priest (except for such communications falling within the ambit of the Cleric-Penitent Privilege as codified at N.J.R.E. 511), layperson faculty member, staff member, volunteers, coach or administrator, is excused from strict adherence to this policy. This policy defines “Harassment”, “Bullying” and “Hazing” as follows:
“Harassment” includes, but may not necessarily be limited to, any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability and that takes place on Prep’s property, at any Prep-officially sponsored function, on any form of Prep transportation vehicle, or off school grounds, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of Prep or the rights of any Prep student. Such conduct is of the type that any reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming another Prep student, damaging a Prep student’s person or property, or placing a Prep student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; or any such conduct that has the effect of insulting or demeaning any Prep student or group of Prep students; or creates a hostile educational environment for a Prep student by interfering with his education.
“Bullying” is any physical, verbal, or other intimidating act or pattern of behavior that causes, or is intended to cause, physical or emotional harm to a Prep student or a group of Prep students. Online or cyber bullying is defined as an intentional electronic written or graphic act or series of acts by an individual directed at others that is severe, persistent, or pervasive. Bullying creates a threatening school environment, may interfere with a student’s education, and in general disrupts the orderly operations of the School. In compliance with New Jersey’s “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act” (C.18A:37-13 et seq.), any student or Prep employee who either witnesses an incident of bullying or is the victim of bullying shall report such acts of bullying to any Prep teacher, coach, counselor or administrator, up to and including the Dean of Students or the Principal. Upon learning of an act of bullying, the Prep teacher, coach, counselor or administrator will meet with the Dean of Students or Principal to discuss a plan of response. All complaints of bullying will be examined and reviewed and any reprisals taken against those who report such acts will not be tolerated, and will subject the actors involved in those reprisals to discipline.
Examples of Harassment or Bullying Conduct
Examples of Harassment or Bullying conduct, which can occur once or habitually, include:
- Derogatory, demeaning, humiliating, inflammatory, intimidating, or threatening words spoken to, written to, or written about another person
- Unwanted physical touching, contact, or assault
- Deliberate impeding or blocking of another’s movement
- Intimidating interference with normal work or movement
- Derogatory, demeaning, inflammatory, intimidating, or threatening gestures, posters, cartoons, drawings, images, and photos
- Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
- Sending inappropriate texts, emails, or instant messages
- Posting inappropriate pictures, videos, or messages about others on blogs, social media, or websites
- Using someone else’s username to spread rumors or lies about another person
Hazing of any form is prohibited at Prep. “Hazing” is defined as an action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of another person for the purpose of membership, advancement, or continued good standing in any organization recognized by the School. In addition, any requirement by a member of a School organization that compels another member or prospective member of that School organization to participate in any activity that is against the Prep Code of Conduct or New Jersey State Law is defined as hazing.
Examples of Hazing
Hazing behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Forcing or requiring an individual to drink alcohol or use other substances or consume unreasonable amounts of food.
- Participating in morally degrading or humiliating games and activities.
- Participating in or creating situations that cause physical harm or emotional strain, such as causing a member or non-member to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule.
- Requiring ingestion of an undesirable or unwanted substance (food, drink, concoction).
- Harassment (whether verbal, mental or physical) of individual(s) or group(s).
- Scavenger hunts that require or result in theft; forced or coerced road trips and/or kidnapping.
- Endorsing or conducting pranks such as borrowing or stealing items, destruction of property or objects, pulling false fire alarms, or any other activity in violation of the law.
- Personal servitude (doing chores or errands for the group(s) or individual members).
- Morally degrading, humiliating or embarrassing games or activities.
- Line-ups or any interrogation for information about the history, purpose or direction of the organization that is not consistent with legitimate testing
- Forced isolation from other members, friends or the rest of the campus. This includes any prohibition on speaking or social interaction, including public marching or walking in lines or “on line.”
- Deception and/or threats contrived to convince the individual he will not be able to join the organization, or that purposely inflicts mental stress by not revealing the requirements or basic timetable for joining.
Any of these activities, if a condition, either directly or indirectly, of membership, advancement, or good standing in a School-recognized organization, shall be presumed to be a forced activity, notwithstanding the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity. The School may treat the action of even one member of a group as constituting hazing by the entire group. Hazing is a violation of the New Jersey State Law when such action by a group or organization recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation or affiliation with any organization. Any individual, group, or organization found responsible for hazing will be subject to disciplinary action, which may result in probation, suspension, or separation from Prep.
Consequences for Actions Contrary to This Policy
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a Prep student who commits one or more acts of HIBH may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion of students, as set forth in the Prep Student Handbook and/or New Jersey law. Consequences for a student who commits an act of HIBH shall be varied and graded according to the nature of the behavior, the nature of the student’s disability, if any and to the extent relevant, the developmental age of the student and the student’s history of problem behaviors and performance, and must be consistent with the Prep Student Handbook and/or New Jersey law. Remedial measures shall be designed to correct the problem behavior; prevent another occurrence of the problem; protect and provide support for the victim of the act; and take corrective action for documented systemic problems related to HIBH.
A. Factors for Determining Consequences
- Age, disability (if any and to the extent relevant), developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved and their relationship to the school;
- Degrees of harm;
- Surrounding circumstances;
- Nature and severity of the behaviors;
- Incidences of past or continuing patterns of behavior;
- Relationships between the parties involved; and,
- Context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
B. Factors for Determining Remedial Measures
- Life skill deficiencies;
- Social relationships;
- Extra-curricular activities;
- Classroom participation;
- Academic performance;
- Relationship to peers; and,
- Relationship between student/family and the school district.
- School culture;
- School climate;
- Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;
- General staff management of classrooms, athletic facilities or other educational environments;
- Staff ability to prevent and manage difficult or inflammatory situations;
- Availability of programs to address student behavior;
- Social-emotional and behavioral supports;
- Social relationships;
- Community activities;
- Neighborhood situation; and,
- Family situation.
Examples of Consequences and Remedial Measures
The consequences and remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the examples listed below:
Possible Consequences Including But Not Limited To:
- Temporary removal from the classroom;
- Deprivation of privileges;
- JUG (Detention);
- Referral to Dean of Students;
- Bans from receiving certain services, participating in School-sponsored programs or being in school buildings or on school grounds.
- Reports to law enforcement or other legal action; and,
Possible Remedial Measures Including But Not Limited To:
- Restitution and restoration;
- Corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience;
- Student counseling;
- Referral to independent, professional counseling; and
- Parent conferences.