The appointments are Rutgers University’s Bullying Prevention Institute Director Bradford C. Lerman of Westfield, Bancroft President and CEO Toni Pergolin of Penn Valley, Pa., East Hanover Schools Superintendent Joseph L. Ricca, Jr. of Morristown, and New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association Director Patricia Wright of Spring Lake. The appointments do not require state Senate confirmation and they will serve without compensation.
Signed into law in January 2011, portions of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights were found by the state Council on Local Mandates to pose an unfunded mandate for school districts. Working with the Legislature, Christie signed a legislative fix in March to address concerns cited by the council.
In addition to the creation of the Task Force, the measure also appropriates $1 million for the “Bullying Prevention Fund,” to financially support school districts as they implement the law.
The task force is composed of seven members with experience or expertise in issues related to school bullying who will review and assist with the law’s implementation. The governor appoints four members with the remaining three individuals appointed one each by the Senate president and the speaker of the Assembly, as well as one appointed jointly by them.
--TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM