The New York City Department of Education has not done enough to help teachers combat bullying and harassment of students, a new report concludes.
The report, "Bullying in New York City Schools: Educators Speak Out," says teachers need additional training and resources to address and ideally prevent bullying based on homophobia and other prejudices, according to an article in Edge New York.
After a year of research that included a survey of 198 teachers and staff members in 117 schools, the report's authors found that only 27% of teachers had been offered training on dealing with bullying and harassment, and only 30% of students had gone through diversity training. Teachers also said they thought school administrators were not committed to fighting the problem.
"Teachers felt that even when did encounter bullies, they weren't given support from the administration to do anything about it," said Johanna Miller, public policy director for the New York Civil Liberties Union, which prepared the report along with the Sikh Coalition and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The report says the school district needs additional resources to comply with the Dignity for All Students Act, a state law enacted last year, and also recommends that the Respect for All Students Week become a mandatory annual event.
Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said the report "relies on the opinions of a tiny fraction of staff and grossly misrepresents the strides made by our schools." The department recently announced plans to enhance the Respect for All program, she said.