New Anti-Bullying Rules for Sports

New Jersey recently received national attention when the state’s interscholastic athletic association clamped down on ‘trash talking’ on the sports field.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) announced the new rules, “that interscholastic athletic events are free from harassing conduct related to race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or religion.” The full statement may be found at

Dr. Bozza suggests that parents discuss the new rules with their kids so both are aware of behavior to report, if needed. Schools will treat the incidents on their fields as bullying if it falls under the definition of harassment, intimidation and bullying.

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“One of the most difficult questions posed by districts is how to address all types of incidents that occur online and off school grounds, including nights and weekends,” said Dr. Bozza. “We need to be able to draw the line so that districts are clear, with funding available for these additional responsibilities.”


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