NYC Schools kicks off anti-bullying campaign

October 19, 2011 1:40:37 PM PDT
New York City Schools has kicked off its new anti- bullying campaign.

Students who feel they are the target of bullies now have a hotline they can use for moral support and find a way to stop the problem.

Teachers Union President Michael Mulgrew was joined by politicians, educators and mental health professionals in announcing the hotline for bullying victims.

"Every single child has a right to go to school and not feel intimidated or harrassed," said Mulgrew.

The hotline will be open from 2:30 to 9:30 pm, Monday thru Friday, staffed by counselors from the Mental Health Association of New York.

"Primarily we're there to listen and support them and getting more help in the community and letting them know that, you know, the community has taken a stance against bullying," said Gloria Jetter, who is one of the counselors.

Officials hope the hotline will also ease the minds of worried parents.

"You ask them what makes them worry about their child's ability to excell in school and they tell you bullying," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Students will call in and be able to remain anonymous. Due to confidentiality laws, there will be no direct contact between the hotline staffers and the schools.

Schools Chancellor Walcott points out the hotline is an important part of a larger picture.

"We're dealing with multi parts to making sure that student is safe and has a comfort level of sharing what is on his or her mind and getting solutions and ideas on where to go to address those concerns," he said.

For more information, you can call 212 709-3222.