Report: Bullying in New York City Schools: Educators Speak Out (2011)

We are deeply disturbed about the horrific increase in violent bigotry in our city, including in our schools. In October 2010 alone, two Bronx teens and one adult were beaten and tortured by a group of attackers because they were gay, and a Staten Island freshman stopped going to school because of the consistent abuse and bullying he faced by a group of classmates because he was Muslim.

According to a Daily News article about the Staten Island case, “the bullying began when the thugs first called him gay and quickly escalated to him being battered for his Muslim heritage and blamed for terrorist bombings.” The article continues, “Once he was kicked so hard he had blood in his urine and had to go and see his doctor. His father … said Kristian, a oncepromising student and gifted piano player, has given up music and his grades have suffered.”

This, all only days after a Rutgers University freshman committed suicide after classmates secretly posted video on the internet of his sexual encounter with another male student in his dorm room.

These recent events underscore the serious and dangerous implications of bullying and make the work to effectively address and prevent bullying in New York City public schools even more urgent. Biased-based bullying is harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, accent, physical appearance, gender, sex, sexual orientation, or other immutable traits, often characterized by an imbalance of power between the bully and the target. We dedicate this report to those who have endured the painful suffering of bias-based bullying and violence, and hope this report is a valuable contribution to all our collective work to end bigotry and promote social justice.

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