WARREN, NJ - Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying.

Improving school culture at Warren Middle School was discussed at Monday’s meeting of the Warren Township Board of Education following board member Ayanna Taylor-Venson’s statement to the board addressing various harassment, intimidation, and bullying(HIB) incidents. The board also approved a revised transgender policy.

The HIB report from June 3,  reports of student behavior on the eighth grade trip, and a subsequent call from a parent made Taylor-Venson feel strongly about prioritizing school culture. The district needs to take an “intentional, proactive, and consistent approach to the students’ social and emotional development,” she said.

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“We need to be relentless in our approach to ensure  that the culture at Warren Middle School is emotionally safe.”

Questions to consider she said are:

How might we respond to HIB reports and comments disparaging a child’s perceived abilities, race or ethnicity perceived or actual sexual or gender orientation in a way that demonstrates how intolerable, socially unacceptable, and hurtful those comments are?

How can we be proactive to make sure that everyone in the building is paying attention to diversity and inclusion?

Suggestions include:

Educating  teachers and staff members on how to respond to incidents of bullying and intolerance;

Forming a district-wide committee of administrators, teachers, parents and eighth graders to identify gaps in inclusion practices and make recommendations for improvement;

Emphasizing the importance of valuing and celebrating diversity and cultural differences.

Taylor-Venson recalled how she felt last year when then eighth grader Johannes Wellerding brought his concerns to the board. Different is not Deficient, says Eighth Grader to Warren Township Board of Education. Read here.

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/warren/articles/different-is-not-deficient-says-eighth-grader-to

 

The board discussed expansion of Black History Month, Diwali and Eid al-Fitr.

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976 for the first time in the United States, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Diwali is the festival of lights, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists and symbolises the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance."

Eid al-Fitr, also called the "Festival of Breaking the Fast", is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan.

“I will be happy to work with any of my board colleagues on ways to be more intentional about ensuring that the culture of Warren Middle School remains inclusive and compassionate toward others,” Taylor-Venson said. “I believe that this is a very powerful way we can help our children build their social competency and prepare them for the world outside of Warren Township.”

For video see here

 

Derek Ressa is the District Anti-Bullying Coordinator and Title IX/Affirmative Action Officer who can be reached at 908-753-5300 Option 7 Email Address

Individual school anti-bullying specialists are:

Mrs. Kelly Blessing-Maire
Angelo L. Tomaso School Anti-Bullying Specialist 
Angelo L. Tomaso School
phone: 908-753-5300 Ext. 5305
fax: 732-560-8801
Email Address

Ms. Alyssa Pech
Central School Anti-Bullying Specialist 
Central School
phone: 908-753-5300 Ext. 5205
fax: 732-560-8801
Email Address

Dr. Kelly Stankiewicz
Mt. Horeb School Anti-Bullying Specialist 
phone: 908-753-5300 Ext. 5405
fax: 732-560-8801
Email Address

Miss Alexandra Pranzo
Woodland School Anti-Bullying Specialist 
phone: 908-753-5300 Ext. 5505
fax: 732-560-8801
Email Address

Ms. Helen Scully
Middle School Anti-Bullying Specialist 
phone: 908-753-5300 Ext. 5007
fax: 732-560-8801
Email Addres

 

The policy is:

https://www.straussesmay.com/seportal/Public/DistrictPolicy.aspx?policyid=5512&search=bullying&id=153ba97a5add4f11a391ba9bd9cda815

 

 

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