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Buono Statement On New Report On School Bullying

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, speaks at the bill signing ceremony for S-786, which she sponsored with Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, to establish paid family leave in New Jersey.

Senator Says She Will Work with Commission Members to Provide Safer Environment for NJ Students

TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, a strong advocate of initiatives designed to alleviate bullying and harassment in New Jersey’s schools, issued the following statement today regarding the new report presented by the New Jersey Commission on Bullying in Schools and the Office of Child Advocate, detailing a plan of action to create safer, less stressful learning environments for New Jersey’s students:

“I take seriously the impact that intimidation, discrimination and intolerance have on our children.

“No child should have to endure endless harassment, intimidation, threats, discrimination, taunting, or physical violence simply to get a quality education. We have a responsibility to provide students in New Jersey with a safe, stress-free learning environment in which to grow into productive adults.

“Harassment, intimidation and bullying in our schools can cause lasting psychological damage in the victims of such attacks. In the most extreme cases, children are forced to deal with life-long self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts caused by the brutal and thoughtless treatment by their peers.

“Learning to respect others needs begin at an early age. Young people that learn to respect others and tolerate differences will become adults who do the same.

“We cannot ignore the problem of bullying in our State’s schools and just hope it goes away. We need to take a proactive approach to protecting our children in the classroom from the psychological and physical trauma of harassment, intimidation and bullying.

“I applaud the Commission on Bullying and the Child Advocate’s Office for preparing a set of detailed recommendations to address the problems of bullying and harassment inside and outside the classroom. I look forward to reviewing every recommendation and working with both groups to put the best protections against bullying into law.”