CITY HALL – Today, Council Member Margaret S. Chin issued the following statement on the DOE’s newly announced efforts to combat bullying in schools, in light of the heartbreaking tragedy in the Bronx that led to a child’s death:

“For many of children, our City’s schools are a home away from home, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that our kids feel safe and cared for. To end bullying, we need the entire community to be engaged — including parents, educators and community leaders.

The City’s new anti-bullying initiatives— which include a Bullying Complaint Portal for families — show the kind of investments we need to strengthen communication between parents and schools and save students’ lives. Through the user-friendly portal, families will not only more easily report cases of student bullying, but they will also receive a prompt acknowledgment that the incident will be investigated.

I thank the DOE’s Division of Family and Community Engagement for its outreach to parents in multiple languages, including Mandarin, Spanish, Bengali and Arabic last year. By providing more culturally-competent, accessible anti-bullying resources, even more families can join our efforts to enact a culture shift to combat bullying and discrimination. Together, we can help parents identify the signs of bullying, reduce the stigma of mental health, eliminate the shame of seeking help, and ensure that our City’s schools are inclusive and safe.”

The City is allocating $8 million to support its newly unveiled anti-bullying initiatives, which include community workshops, Mental Health First Aid trainings offered in partnership with DOHMH and ThriveNYC , anti-bias and anti-bullying training for all school-based employees and Parent Coordinators, funding for student-led Gender and Sexuality Alliances and Respect For All clubs and targeted resources and support for schools with high-bullying rates.

The reforms were announced by Chancellor Fariña at a hearing of the Council’s Committee on Education, of which Chin is a member.