Bullying has no place in any child's education. That was the inspiration behind the UFT's creation of the Building Respect, Acceptance and Voice through Education program. Since the UFT launched the program in the fall of 2011, BRAVE has given students, staff and families the tools, knowledge and support they need to be proactive in confronting bullying.
"Every single child has a right to go to school and not feel intimidated or harassed," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew at the program kickoff.
BRAVE has organized student essay and video contests and hundreds of anti-bullying workshops and conferences. The program also has focused on students in middle schools, where bullying is especially prevalent. In 2018 and again in 2019, over 300 middle school students learned to confront the problem at the annual BRAVE conference.
A confidential BRAVE hotline 212-709-3222, staffed by licensed counselors, was set up to provide counseling to bullied youngsters. During the pandemic, the hotline was expanded to also serve students suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.