Borough President Diaz Urges DOE to Adopt ‘Start Strong’ Polices on Dating Abuse Prevention and Intervention

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  • Borough President Diaz Urges DOE to Adopt ‘Start Strong’ Polices
    on Dating Abuse Prevention and Intervention

    In advance of tonight’s meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is urging the Department of Education to strengthen its regulations on dating abuse prevention and intervention.

    Specifically, Borough President Diaz is calling on the PEP to adopt many of the policies outlined through the “Start Strong Bronx” program. Launched in 2009, “Start Strong Bronx,” which is funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is part of the largest ever national initiative targeting 11-to-14-year-olds to promote safe and healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse.  Programming includes implementation of a healthy relationship curriculum, training of DOE leadership, principals and teachers and advocacy for system wide policy change.  Partners include Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, the New York City Department of Education and Pregones Theater. 

    “The concepts outlined in ‘Start Strong Bronx’ are solid, and are proven to help reduce dating abuse among teenagers. The Department of Education should adopt these concepts, and I urge the Panel for Educational Policy to move forward on these recommendations,” said Borough President Diaz.

    Borough President Diaz is urging the Department of Education to strengthen the Chancellor’s Regulations A-831 and A-832 in the following ways:

  • Expand the definition of dating abuse in A-831 and add dating abuse as a prohibited behavior in A-832;
  • Mandate age-appropriate healthy relationship and dating abuse prevention education for all students;
  • Add a new dating abuse code to the OORS reporting system to track the number of dating abuse incidents. This change has no cost and can be implemented immediately;
  • Make accommodations for student victims, such as changing classrooms to avoid the perpetrator or requesting an involuntary transfer of the perpetrator. A resource list of community based services should be given to victims;
  • Mandate annual dating abuse training for Respect for All and Sexual Harassment liaisons as well as teachers and staff in the schools; and 
  • Mandate opportunities for parent to learn how to talk to their children about healthy relationships and dating abuse before they start dating.
  • "I think it would have been different if the teachers in my middle school understood dating violence and how to help others in need. If students learned about dating violence in school, I personally think that the number of people that are being bullied and treated badly in relationship would decrease,” said Xavier McGarrity, a member of the Start Strong Bronx Teen Advisory Board.


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