2012-10-19 / Top Stories

Pols Call For Tougher Anti-Bullying Measures

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Assemblymember Grace Meng marked National Bully Prevention Month near P.S. 20 John Bowne School in Flushing by announcing new plans to combat bullying in City schools. Meng called for more antibullying legislation on the federal level. De Blasio recently released a report that recommended much more extensive outreach to parents and teachers about the new Dignity for All Students Act and the role they are expected to play in bullying intervention and prevention. The officials distributed anti-bullying information to parents and students at dismissal.

“Parents know exactly what we’re up against. Bullying is widespread in our schools, and to overcome it we need to back up our words with actions. We need real resources and real policies that ensure parents, teacher and students all know how they can intervene and stop bullying,” said de Blasio.

“As the mother of two young boys, bullying is a huge concern for me and my husband. Our public schools should be safe, comfortable, judgment free learning environments,” said Meng. “Bullying is not a harmless phase that children endure – it is a very real problem that leads to lower grades, higher drop-out rates and serious mental health problems. As a member of Congress, I’ll work to push through meaningful legislation to help stop this destructive, harmful behavior.”

At the press conference, Meng vowed to fight for the passage of a series of anti-bullying bills if elected to Congress, including proposed legislation that would:  Require Local Education Agencies

(LEAs) to include prohibitions on bullying in their discipline policies, monitor measures of performance on bullying and establish grievance procedures for students, parents and educators.  Reauthorize the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants to include educational efforts aimed at students, adults and law enforcement officials about identifying bullying and intervention procedure techniques.  Expand the availability of programs that teach social and emotional learning (SEL) skills, including the prevention of problem behaviors such as bullying. To better combat bullying, de Blasio’s report recommended the City: 1. Host yearly workshops in schools on bullying prevention and education that bring together parents, faculty and students. 2. Make public the specific training requirements for faculty so communities can have confidence in the preparedness of staff to address bullying. 3. Examine data on bullying incidents in each school every semester to ensure that the most effective anti-bullying strategies are being applied.

Read the full report at: http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/bullyingnyc public-schools

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