Newark Public Schools Creates Programs for Anti-Bullying Month

Student Assemblies, Arts and Displays, Community Activities, Staff Development and More Featured During the month of October

[Newark, NJ – October 12, 2017] Newark Public Schools, (NPS), along with other school districts throughout New Jersey, are recognizing National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in October. NPS programs include student assemblies and staff development workshops that focus on safe school environments. The week of October 2 – 6 was Respect Week in schools throughout the state and Violence Awareness Week is October 16 – 20. 

“It is incumbent upon each of us as administrators to create programs and opportunities to engage the student population in programs that teach respect and acceptance,” said Robert Gregory, Deputy Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “We have created a number of diverse programs to open the dialogue around bullying and to give students an opportunity to work among their peers to identify solutions to challenges.” 

Deputy Superintendent Gregory added that in some instances, NPS is bringing together social workers, members of the guidance team, administration, and other supports to “ensure our young scholars feel safe throughout their school experience.”

According to The National School Climate Center, one in three students report being bullied.  Schools should be one of the safest spaces for young people to engage with their peers, grow academically, and learn life lessons according to Dr. Sunne-Ryse Smith, Executive Director of Student Support Services. 

Dr. Smith said, “Newark Public Schools stand with districts around the country to promote National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and create those spaces for our students. Through community partnerships and the commitment of school staff, NPS students, parents, and educators will engage in activities and thoughtful dialogue about inclusion, acceptance, bullying prevention, and respect throughout the month and beyond. Students deserve to feel secure when they go to school and we are committed to creating safe school communities.”

Throughout the month, NPS is teaching a curriculum that includes, Teaching Tolerance, Let’s Get Real and the National Bullying Prevention Classroom Toolkit. In addition, in the area of LGBTQI Rights, the curriculum includes the Harvey Milk Curriculum, and in the area of social justice, The Real World Social Justice Guide and finally, Teaching for Change.

According to Karen Fennell, Senior Manager of Operations and Compliance, who also serves as the HIB ABR District Coordinator, (Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying) (Anti-Bullying Rights), more than 50 schools in the District have already implemented programming and curriculum to create a bully-free environment, that promotes respect and acceptance of one another, whatever a student’s place is in life,” according to Ms. Fennell. 

For the remainder of the month, Ms. Fennell said we will be focusing on building safer communities as we participate in “Violence Awareness Week. After the month of October, schools will continue with programming that includes conflict resolution, celebrating differences,  social media responsibility and peer mediation.