Some say new anti-bullying policy at Bayonne High School promotes fighting

A mother from Bayonne is demanding stricter anti-bullying measures at Bayonne High School after her daughter’s nose was broken by another student accused of bullying her.
The incident involving Iris Garcia’s daughter happened just days before Bayonne High School launched its anti-violence initiative. Parents and students at the school say the new program is not enough and is instead forcing students to have fights elsewhere.
“The no-contact order didn’t matter. The suspensions did not matter. They made it very clear to my daughters that they did not care about the no contact order, nor the suspensions and it continued to happen for almost a month,” Garcia says.
Garcia is a Bayonne High School alumna. Two of her daughters now attend the school. She says her daughter Seri was being bullied over three weeks.
“They pretty much kept finding Seri wherever she was at…starting arguments with her…attempting to fight her…act like they’re going to fight or hit her…harassing…Stalking,” Garcia says.
The school then issued a no-contact order between the students after Garcia made them aware of the incidents. Garcia says a no-contact order prohibits interaction and if conditions are violated, the students are suspended. Garcia says her daughter Nyaliyah, who she says got involved because she was defending her sister, was attacked by another student during dismissal while Garcia was talking to the parent of the other student involved.
“Seri, at the time. was sitting inside. Nyaliyah was on the outside - and at that point, all of us, we ran to where I was parked, and by that point my daughter was already assaulted,” says Garcia.
Bayonne High School launched its Anti-violence, Conflict, Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying initiative earlier this week. It aims to prevent bullying, conflict and fighting, while rewarding positive behavior. But students doubt its effectiveness.
"They’re saying, ‘Protect the hive. Take it outside’ - basically promoting the violence further, saying, ‘Just don’t fight in the school and you’ll be perfectly fine,’” says 12th grader Rym Taiebezzraimi.
Garcia says she wants stricter measures, and she says the school’s anti-violence initiative won’t cut it.
“I think that accountability should be taken. Half days and ice cream is not going to solve the problem of bullying or harassing or even fighting or assaulting,” Garcia says.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to the Bayonne Superintendent’s Office but hasn’t gotten a response. A school board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday and Garcia is asking all parents with children who attend the high school to attend.