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Fifth-grader Lance Rodriguez said he has been bullied at the Howard Beach school.
By Michael V. Cusenza
A 10-year-old boy this week recounted his personal horror story of relentless bullying he has suffered at the hands of fellow fifth-graders at PS 146 — just as his father related his own harrowing tale of the paltry responses he has received from the City when attempting to get his son transferred out of the Howard Beach school.
“These kids keep bullying me, I don’t like it,” Lance Rodriguez told Spectrum News New York 1 on Monday. “Especially when they are saying things about my background. You see, I’m Hispanic and they are harassing me for that.”
Lance’s dad, Neal, has been trying to obtain a “safety transfer” to a new school, but he can’t seem to get the City Department of Education to even acknowledge him.
“No one calls me back,” Rodriguez told the station.
Though the DOE did not return The Forum’s request for comment, NY 1 has indicated that after their story aired both PS 146 and the City have reached out to him and are helping his son transfer out of the school.
Lance’s ordeal was made public the same day the City Council voted unanimously on bills implementing reporting requirements and improving access to resources to help prevent bullying.
Introduction 1538-A would require DOE to post on its website information regarding how to report incidents of bullying, harassment, intimidation or discrimination, including information about to which school staff such reports may be made; email addresses designated by DOE to receive reports of such incidents; and information guiding students, parents and staff members to visit their individual school websites for more information. It would also require DOE to include on each individual school’s website information regarding how to report incidents of bullying, harassment, intimidation or discrimination; the name, email address and phone number of the school’s dignity act coordinator; and any email addresses designated by DOE to receive reports of such incidents.
“When enacted, this bill will make principals and other administrators aware of bullying inside of their schools—the first step toward addressing the issue. I thank the speaker and my colleagues for supporting this important effort,” said Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).
Introduction 1757-A would require DOE to report every six months on the number of material incidents of student-to-student bullying, harassment, intimidation or discrimination in violation of Chancellor’s Regulation A-832, as well as the number of complaints received, disaggregated by community school district and individual high school. The bill would also require the DOE to annually report on supports it provides related to preventing, reporting, and addressing such incidents, any trends seen in the data, any recommendations the DOE has to address such trends, and, for each school, whether the school has completed the training required pursuant to Chancellor’s Regulation A-832. Additionally, the bill would require reports to include information regarding notices sent to parents of both students who have been targeted by bullying behavior and those who have been engaged in bullying behavior.