NYC Council Member Rita Joseph pushes for creation of anti-bullying task force
A New York City council member is hoping to assemble a team to come up with a plan to stop bullying in schools.
Council Member Rita Joseph, the chair of the council's Education Committee and a former educator, wants to create an anti-bullying task force that would meet multiple times a year and submit a plan to the mayor's office.
“Give recommendations to the mayor's office on how to best address it, how do we provide support in schools, in all forms, whether it's from the youngest child to the oldest child,” she says.
The task force would be made up of elected officials, school staffers, conflict resolution experts and others.
Joseph says each borough would be represented and she wants parents to have a seat at the table.
"Parents usually say, ‘I know my kid is being bullied but I don't know where to go.’ So, we want to make sure those resources are available for parents and students,” Joseph says.
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso is a supporter of the bill who hopes to highlight students’ perspectives.
“I hope that in the appointment of the panel…we have some student perspective. That I think would be extremely valuable,” he says.
Joseph adds, “Normally we make decisions for students, not with students. Let's involve the students, elementary, middle school and high school, have them always have a voice at the table."
The Institute for Career Development said next year they plan to launch similar programs in two more schools, one in Manhattan and another in Brooklyn.
The ultimate goal is having one in every New York City public school.