From August 2018 to August 2019, the Buffalo Public School District and the Juvenile Justice Coalition, co-led by the Associate Superintendent of Student Support Services (now Dr. Tonja Williams), Erie County Family Court Judge (Hon. Brenda M. Freedman) and Buffalo School Board Member (Hope Jay), have led a multi-year effort to address many significant issues affecting children and families who interface with the educational and juvenile justice systems. What became known as the Anti-Bullying Task Force included Erie County Department of Social Services Directors, a BPS Building Principal, Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse and Prevention, the Legal Aid Bureau and 30 plus professionals representing dozens of community based organizations across Buffalo. Through the work of the four subcommittees focusing on data and research, interventions, legal issues, and youth voices, the Task Force recognized that bullying is a multifaceted issue that requires a sustained commitment from schools and the community. The Task Force recommended the following:
1.) Convene a standing bullying prevention collaborative committee led by Buffalo Public Schools.
2.) Implement best practices to meet the intent of the Dignity for All Student Act. Specific recommendations include adopting a DASA Coordinator “Team Model” in each BPS school.
3.) Build positive culture through relationships and effective community partnerships.
4.) Address areas/populations of highest risk for bullying and victimization, e.g. students who identify as LGBTQ and immigrant/refugee students.
5.) Integrate youth leadership and student voices in all facets of bullying prevention.
For questions about the Anti-Bullying Task Force, please contact Nicole Bycina at email@example.com