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State Sen. Musto Takes on Bullying

He read to students at a March 26 bullying awareness event in Trumbull.

Students heard from local officials on Sensitivity Day about showing respect toward others. (Taken from a press release).

Sen. Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull) joined with parents and other community leaders today to read with fourth graders at Trumbull’s Jane Ryan School as part of their annual “Sensitivity Day.” On Sensitivity Day, students talk with their teachers and guest readers in an effort to raise awareness of learning and physical disabilities. The hope is that by increasing understanding, the children will become closer and more respectful toward all people.

“Too often we hear stories on the news about bullying that goes on in schools, and I am very happy to see the fourth graders at Jane Ryan School working to eliminate this from their environment,” said Musto. “It is programs like Sensitivity Day that highlight the strength of character in our students and make Trumbull such a great place to live.”

In addition to reading with their guests, students are given an opportunity to experience the school day from the perspective of someone who has a disability. Students participate in hands-on activities that demonstrate what it’s like to navigate the school for someone who is blind, deaf, or has a physical or learning disability. By understanding the obstacles that some of their classmates face, students develop a greater sense of compassion toward those with disabilities and carry the lessons of Sensitivity Day out of the classroom and into their community.

Sensitivity Day follows the spirit of landmark bullying legislation passed in 2011 by Musto and his colleagues in the Connecticut General Assembly. Recent studies have shown that 25% of Connecticut’s students have experienced bullying within the past year. Victims of bullying struggle more with their studies and are less healthy than their classmates.

As a result of the 2011 legislation, all schools in Connecticut must adopt a clear policy against bullying, and school staff are now trained to manage and report incidences of bullying that they become aware of. The definition of bullying used in this law is not limited to what goes on in the classroom. The new bullying regulations cover cyberbullying as well as anything that goes on outside the classroom and creates a hostile environment in school.

Musto expressed hope that the new awareness of bullying in Trumbull and across the state will promote an environment in all Connecticut schools where children feel safe and can pursue their education in a healthy setting.

louis March 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM
really what we need is common sense when it comes to bullying. You will always have kids who are aggressors who scare their fellow classmates. It reminds me of this movie I watched once with Rupert Grint, or one of the other Harry Potter characters, we might not stand up to the jerks, but someone has to. When one of our caring types knocks out a bully, then that is the type of sensitivity training they need. When everyone is silent and holding hand sessions, it just makes evil stronger
louis March 30, 2013 at 10:19 PM
School policy is currently directed so as to strengthen bullies not limit them. We have a value-less way of looking at these children, we no longer teach right or wrong, evil responds to docility by destroying it, unless we start to instill the correct values, the type of nurturing that makes a person both strong, independent and opinionated, while defending the values of rights and justice, we will lose this war in the winner take all culture
The state have made efforts about setting policy since 2003; schools are not obligated to set policy or re-tweek it (but most have). But most importantly, how they follow the policy, i.e. respond to a bullying matter is completely up to them. It is very difficult for schools to be effective because deciding the truth is often difficult and giving consequences that affect school attendance is quite problematic. Because of this, even serious cases, involving physical contact, fall between the cracks. We offer a solution for the targeted youth and the youth who do not bully. Contact us at info@inclusionteaming.org

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