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UFT helps launch Respect for All Week
Schools honored for programs that instill respect for diversity
UFT President Michael Mulgrew joined elected officials and educators in kicking off Respect for All Week with a press conference on Feb. 10.
Twenty-four schools were honored at the event for their innovative programs that embrace diversity and differences, such as the school hosting the event, Manhattan’s Baruch College Campus HS.
Mulgrew spoke about the importance of the issue, saying that educators “have made a difference in this city because of the work we’ve done.”
He commended school communities for working hard with students so that “one day we can say we have a school system where everyone is respected.”
Discussing the ways in which Respect for All has grown during its three years in existence, Mulgrew mentioned the UFT’s own Be BRAVE Against Bullying campaign, which highlights the issue with workshops for teachers and a hotline for students to call during after-school hours.
In March the UFT will hold an Anti-Bullying Fair, with experts and advocates from around the country, Mulgrew said.
Alicia Perez-Katz, the principal of Baruch College Campus HS, said that her first priority as an educator is to make sure students are safe so that they can learn. Her school was honored for the work of its student group, which meets with a guidance counselor to plan events and offer student-led workshops on respecting diversity.
“We are empowering young people to be active citizens and make a difference when they leave school and go out into the world,” Perez-Katz said.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has been a major supporter of anti-bullying efforts in the schools, told those at the press conference, “We know bullying and harassment still happens; we need to commit to fighting it and we also need to celebrate when we have made progress.”
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