Hevesi Teams with NYPD to Combat Bullying in Local Schools

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) had the privilege last Friday morning of presenting a New York City Police Department program aimed at curbing bullying to one of his district’s schools. The interactive socio-drama performed by officers from the NYPD Community Outreach division covered a broad array of topics. The performance allowed the 5th grade students at P.S. 144 Col Jeromus Remsen in Queens to engage with the officers as they acted out various scenarios that students may encounter when being bullied. Physical and verbal intimidation, cyber-harassment, and suicide were all covered during the presentation. Attendees in the auditorium remarked upon the significant impact that the performance had in effectively engaging the audience. The officers ended their performance by encouraging students to speak up when they see bullying.

Assemblyman Hevesi’s interest in this matter was sparked after learning that over 130,000 cases of bullying were reported in the city during the 2008-2009 school year. This number reflects that roughly 1 in 10 kids are being bullied in New York City schools, however many more cases likely go unreported. Assemblyman Hevesi feels these numbers are unacceptable and more engagement on the matter is necessary to decrease the problem. Moving forward he plans to bring this to schools throughout his district as a staunch advocate against bullying. Assemblyman Hevesi also sees the need to get parents actively involved in combating bullying in there children’s schools by expanding this program to include them in the discussion.

“Bullying is a real problem, and it can’t be ignored. The New York City Police Department did an outstanding job engaging the students in a discussion about bullying. The officers related to the students as they performed, and made them feel the emotional consequences of bullying. I am going to attempt to bring this program to schools all over my district,” Hevesi said. “Bullying is preventable and we need to start treating it that way. It is important for students to learn about bullying at school, but I also want parents to get involved. Being able to detect the signs of bullying and giving the proper advice to deal with the situation is something parents must be prepared for. I plan to organize workshops with the NYPD for parents that want to learn the best ways to discuss bullying with their children,” Hevesi pledged.