Judge Defines Bullying in Case Involving City Schools

Article published in Gotham Gazette by Emily Jane Goodman, May 2011 raises the issue of school bullying, which has been linked to schoolhouse shootings, tormenting gay classmates, ruinous sex videos and devastating Internet abuse.

Bullying once meant dipping a schoolgirl’s braids in the desk inkwell or throwing snowballs at the new kids. But 21st century bullying can involve schoolhouse shootings, tormenting gay classmates, ruinous sex videos, devastating Internet abuse and suicides. The new extremes may be due to increasing violence among children, and, ironically, may also flow from diversity, which provides bullies with targets who look or sound different or may be gay, or have disabilities.

In a federal lawsuit brought against New York City’s Department of Education by the parents of LK, then a 12-year-old pupil at P.S. 6 on Manhattan’s upper east side, Judge Jack Weinstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has framed a test for defining schoolhouse bullying. Although the child in this case has disabilities, Weinstein’s approach appears to be generally applicable.

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Arts to Grow (ATG) engages children in the artistic process by providing free, highly tailored and professionally taught arts education programs to youth in the New York metro area who have limited access to the arts. Arts to Grow collaborates closely with schools and community groups to match performing and visual arts programs and Teaching Artists with the specific needs of each group of children. ATG serves the community and society by helping children develop their full potential through the arts.

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