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On Monday, December 11, the City Council unanimously passed a Brooklyn-born bill aimed at better understanding and curbing bullying within New York City schools.

According to Coney Island Councilmember and former southern Brooklyn school teacher Mark Treyger, who introduced the legislation, Intro 1757-A will require the Department of Education to collect and report data every six months regarding the prevalence of bullying in city schools, as well as track whether or not schools are adhering to regulations mandating that parents or guardians be quickly notified of bullying incidents.

“Bullying can take a significant physical, emotional, and psychological toll on students and families. As a former educator, I saw firsthand how bullying can disrupt a child’s developmental and educational progress,” said Treyger. “We have seen too many tragic endings to cases of bullying across our city, particularly as social media becomes a larger part of our children’s lives. Bullying is a complex issue that requires multi-level interventions, both at school and at home. My legislation is designed to help us learn how bullying manifests, where bullying persists, and whether or not schools have sufficient resources to tackle school climate issues.”

The DOE’s biannual reports would include statistical breakdowns of student-to-student bullying, harassment, intimidation or discrimination as bullying complaints, notices about bullying incidents sent to parents or guardians and how long it takes for those parties to receive them, students who have experienced more than two incidents of bullying per school year, and the number of times follow-up action was taken.

The reports would also include descriptions of any trends reflected in the data, and a description of any recommendations to address them, such as training for relevant staff members or an increase in awareness efforts. Reports would also clarify whether school staff members have completed required training, according to Treyger.

All data will divvied up by individual school and school district.

“The more we learn about bullying, the better prepared we will be to stop it as soon as it starts,” said Treyger. “I believe this bill will accomplish that.”

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