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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

What All Students Should Know about Harassment and Bullying in New York City Public Schools On September 3, 2008, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced Chancellor’s Regulation A-832, which established a procedure for addressing student-to-student bias-based harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying.

What does “bias-based harassment” mean?

The regulation states that bias-based harassment is an intentional act of bullying or intimidation that negatively affects a student’s ability to learn or participate in school activities. The harassment can be based on a person’s race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability. Bias-based harassment can be physical, verbal, or written actions. These acts could include stalking, physical violence, threats and teasing, use of derogatory language, or unwanted touching.

Where can a person report bias-based harassment?

Reports can be made to 1) a designated staff person who is selected by the principal (their name should be listed on the Respect For All poster in your school), 2) any school employee, or 3) the Office of School and Youth Development by sending an email to: RespectforAll@schools.nyc.gov.

Who can file a report of bias-based harassment?

Reports can be filed by 1) any student who has experienced harassment; 2) anyone who witnesses or knows about the harassment, such as a parent or other students; and 3) staff members who know or witness student-to-student bias-based harassment.

What happens after a report is submitted?

The school has to enter the incident into the school system database within 24 hours. An investigation of the complaint filed must be completed within 5 days of the initial report. The findings of the report must be released to the students involved within 10 school days from the initial report. If a school fails to address a report of harassment and the student continues to be harassed, the student should file a complaint directly to the Office of School and Youth Development by emailing RespectforAll@schools.nyc.gov or calling (212) 374-6834.

What will happen to the student accused of harassment?

If the student is found to be in violation of the regulation, the student will be subjected to disciplinary action that is aligned with the Department of Education’s Discipline Code. Where appropriate, the student will receive counseling services and resources by the school.

What support will students who are victims of harassment receive?

Schools should provide the appropriate counseling services for the student. These services may be provided from the school or by a community agency through school referrals.

Will reports be confidential?

The privacy of all individuals and witnesses will be respected by the Department of Education (DOE). Only when necessary, in cases like a police investigation, will the DOE disclose any information to resolve the issue. In addition, retaliation against students or staff who report or assist in the investigation of harassment, bullying, and/or intimidation is prohibited under this regulation.

Will parent/caregiver(s) be automatically notified?

Parent/caregiver(s) of both the accused student(s) and the alleged victim(s) will be notified by the schools. The alleged victim(s) can ask the school to refrain from telling the parent(s) if worried about personal safety.

What are schools supposed to be doing to prevent harassment?

Every year, students should 1) be given brochures about the DOE’s “Respect for All” program and 2) receive training about the regulation and “Respect for All.” Students should visibly see “Respect for All” posters in their schools with the name(s) of the person responsible for receiving and investigating reports of harassment. All schools are required to create a plan for how they will create a safe and respectful environment for all students. Students can request a copy of the regulation from the school.

Where can I go to find more information about this regulation?

The regulation can be viewed and downloaded here. Or you can call the Dept. of Education for a hard copy at (212)374-6834. If your school is not abiding by the guidelines listed here, your rights are being violated. See the links below and contact one of these organizations for support: