At a panel discussion held at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio convened parents, teachers and experts to ensure the New York State Dignity for All Student’s Act (DASA) is put into meaningful action for the coming school year. City schools were required to develop an implementation plan to comply with the anti-bullying law by July 1, 2012, but the role of administrators, teachers and parents in those plans is unclear. De Blasio will release a report based on the panel later this month with recommendations on involving all members of the school community in anti-bullying programs and curriculum.
“We are finally waking up to the scope of bullying and harassment that our kids face in school. But the laws and policies we have developed will only be effective if parents, teachers and students are all part of the solution. That’s what it will take to create tangible change in our classrooms and hallways,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Panelists included public school parent Lakisha Brooks whose son was recently bullied on the school bus, District Leader Brad Hoylman, NYCLU’s Johanna Miller, public school teacher Luz Minaya, P.S. 140K Principal Roderick Palton, and Vanessa Portillo, after-school program director at Thurgood Marshall Middle School.
The forum focused on the challenges bullying poses, the barriers to implementing DASA, and best practices from other school systems. De Blasio has also assembled resources for students, parents and educators on bullying at www.advocate.nyc.gov/bullying.
The event was co-sponsored by Advocates for Children, United Federation of Teachers, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators, Citywide Council on Special Education, Brooklyn Community Pride Center, State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblyman Micah Kellner, Council Member Daniel Dromm, Council Member Jimmy Van Brammer, Council Member Robert Jackson, District Leader Brad Hoylman, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Lambda Independent Democrats, Parent to Parent of NYS/Metro Office, Resources for Children with Special Needs, Sinergia Inc., Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC and Yetta Kurland from the Kurland Group.
Video of the panel: www.advocate.nyc.gov/bullying