Harassment of Jackson Student with Autism via Social Media

A student with special needs in Jackson, New Jersey recently received an alarming message on Snapchat. The threatening language used in this social media post gave rise to discussions about cyber-bulling among local residents and may constitute harassment.

According to Jackson Township School District spokeswoman Allison Erwin, officials have already identified the origin of the message sent to an autistic boy who is currently a student at Jackson Liberty High School. The post includes a photo of a half-full Coca-Cola bottle with a circle drawn around the volume measurement (2 liters). The photo is captioned: “$5 and I’ll yeet this at this at the back of the autistic kid’s head.” Yeet is a slang word meaning “throw.”

As for the specific disciplinary action take by school officials in connection with this incident, Erwin said: “We are not in a position to publicly discuss matters of student discipline, except to state that this type of behavior is never tolerated…This incident is being taken very seriously and is being handled in accordance with our student conduct and discipline policies.”

While individual townships can enact their own policies and standards as it relates to harassment, bullying, and cyber-bulling, New Jersey law also addresses conduct that may lead to criminal charges for harassment. Notably, charges for harassment can be brought against juveniles or adults.

According to the New Jersey statute that governs harassment (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4), there are three different types of harassment offenses. The type of harassment that may apply in this case involves communication made at inconvenient hours, with offensively coarse language, or in any manner likely to cause alarm with purpose to harass another person. Harassment is classified as a petty disorderly persons offense, punishable by up to 30 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $500. A conviction for harassment will also appear on a criminal record background check.

Jackson NJ Harassment Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with harassment, the criminal defense attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law can help protect your innocence. Our lawyers defend clients against harassment charges in Jackson Township and throughout Ocean County, New Jersey. When a harassment case coincides with a temporary restraining order, we also provide defense at final restraining order hearings in Ocean County Family Court. If you are arrested for harassment or your child is accused of bullying, contact us today at (848) 238-2100 or fill out an online contact form. We are always available to provide free consultations.

For additional information regarding this matter, click the following link: Jackson Liberty teen threatens fellow student with autism on Snapchat

William Proetta

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.