new report on anti-bullying efforts in new york schools

According to a new report, Bullying in New York City Schools: Educators Speak Out, released by Sikh Coalition, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York City Department of Education is providing teachers insufficient resources and training to protect students from bullying and biased-based harassment.

The report summarizes the results of a survey conducted during the 2009-2010 school year of 198 city teachers and school staff representing 117 public schools in four boroughs. It assesses the Department of Education's progress in enforcing Chancellor's Regulation A-832, which was issued in September 2008 to address student-to-student bullying and bias-based harassment.

The report also assesses the effectiveness of the departments "Respect for All" program, a diversity training initiative launched in 2007 primarily to combat homophobia in city schools that was expanded last year. Basically, these initiatives aren't doing squat. At least, not in the way they're currently being implemented. Among the report's key findings:
- Only 14 percent of respondents teachers and staff surveyed said they believe that the Chancellor's Regulation and the Respect for All program are "effective" or "very effective" in addressing bullying and bigotry in their schools.

- Although the DOE's two-day Respect for All training is available to all k-12 teachers, only about 30 percent of respondents said teachers at their school were even offered training.

- Only about 31 percent of respondents said students in their schools received diversity or Respect for All training.

- Respondents who were offered Respect for All trainings reported a lack of specific training on how to respond to bias incidents. Teachers also expressed concerns that they would be unable to make use of the training because of a lack of commitment from administrators.
What good is it to make these promises and launch all these initiatives to address harassment and discrimination in schools, then do a half-assed job in implementing them? We're talking about the safety and well-being of kids. Here's the full press release: New Report: NYC Teachers Doubt Effectiveness of Dep't of Education's Anti-Bullying Efforts. You can download and read the full report here (PDF).

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