Male student's sexual advances violated harassment law

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's education commissioner has overturned a school board's decision that a boy's repeated attempts to get a girl to engage in sexual activity didn't violate the state's harassment, intimidation and bullying law. ( reports that David Hespe said he concurs with an administrative law judge's decision that the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional school district's finding "must be overturned as arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable."

The matter involved an eighth-grade boy who allegedly made several sexual advances toward a seventh-grade girl.

At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, several students allegedly witnessed the boy's interactions with the girl and notified school officials.

But the judge's ruling found the school didn't perform an investigation and instead told the boy "he could end up a registered sex offender" if he continued his behavior.

The ruling, though, states the boy continued to "request sexual activities" from the girl, such as asking her to sit on his lap on the school bus. He also allegedly invited her to strip for him online and accompany him to his home so she could perform sexual acts on him.

An investigation was eventually launched after the girl's parents raised concerns about the incidents. But that probe found no evidence of bullying, instead deeming the incidents as "adolescent sexual curiosity."

Schools Superintendent Victor Hayek said the district respects the commissioner's decision and will "continue to be vigilant" in preventing similar incidents from happening again.


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