Mayor and Council Feel Parents’ Pain Regarding HIB Administration

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Several parents showed up at the Monday, Jan. 25 council meeting to voice their concerns and outrage regarding the way the New Jersey Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Law (HIB) has been interpreted at the borough schools. They had also expressed their dissatisfaction at a recent Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

Surprisingly, the parents found more sympathetic ears and encouraging words among council members than those of the BOE.

Jamie Peterson representing “Concerned Parents of New Providence” told the council about the “climate of fear” and “snowballing” HIB investigation process at the high school. “We are not asking the investigations to stop,” she said. However, the parents are asking for changes in the process. They are also asking that those students who are involved in the investigation are allowed a due process. The concerned parents would also prefer that children were taught conflict resolution skills rather than them being saddled with the bullying label.

Sign Up for E-News

Gayle Libertucci requested that the Council Liaison to the BOE, Robert Munoz, attend the BOE meetings going forward. “We need the council liaison present,” she said. Libertucci asked the council to “spread the word” on this important issue.

Both Peterson and Libertucci were among the group of parents who had met State Assemblyman Jon Bramnick earlier that day to discuss the HIB law and how it is interpreted in New Providence.

“I hear you and sympathize with you. I agree with you.” The students involved in the recent incident that resulted in the parents’ outrage were “good kids,” Mayor Al Morgan said.

Morgan stated that he also had spoken to Bramnick that day about the same issue. “I have heard stories not only from victims, but other kids involved,” Morgan said. “The Legislation is too broad.” When something happens “we paint everybody with the same brush.” Reality and ramifications do not surface until later, Morgan said.

Morgan also told the parents that Bramnick had reached out to the Commissioner of Education, David Hespe, regarding the issue. “Maybe the legislation could be changed,” Morgan pondered.

Council President Michael Gennaro added that since the Rutgers bullying incident that resulted in a suicide “many go overboard.” We have to use some “common sense” and “discretion” when dealing with the HIB investigations, he said.

“There are HIB cases, but minor issues get blown out of proportion. Life is not black or white, it is gray,” Morgan said. We should find a different way to handle these cases and try to move forward with a conflict mediation board, Morgan suggested.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Free Public Panel Will Explore Sexual Assault and Consent

April 20, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites members of the public to attend a panel discussion on sexual assault and consent on Wednesday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. in Room N-4 at Union County College, 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford. The panel will feature a question and answer session.

The panel discussion is intended to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent in ...

Annual Fishing Derby Returns to Oakwood Park on Saturday, April 28

Mark your calendars!  The annual Fishing Derby returns to Oakwood Park Saturday, April 28th, rain or shine, from 8:00 – 11:00am.  Co-sponsored by New Providence P.B.A. Local #132 and New Providence Recreation, this family favorite event is one of the borough’s “signs of spring”!

Bring your rod, reel & bait to fish for trout of varying sizes stocked in ...

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, April 20, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness


Fri, April 20, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Vinayasa Flow

Health & Wellness


Fri, April 20, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness


Fri, April 20, 2:00 PM

My Gym New Providence, New Providence

Spring Camp at My Gym New Providence

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness Other Sports

Sat, April 21, 9:00 AM

Green Village

Indoor Flea Market

Arts & Entertainment