Township, school district unite to fight bullying

Photo Courtesy of West Orange Township
With anti-bullying month starting in October, Human Relations Commission Chairwoman Tammy Williams and West Orange Board of Education communications coordinator Cynthia Cumming present a proclamation on the town’s anti-bullying initiatives from the mayor and Township Council at the Sept. 25 council meeting.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Human Relations Commission is partnering with West Orange School District to sponsor an anti-bullying campaign for the month of October. Bullying is generally defined as “an intentional act that causes harm to others, and may involve verbal harassment, verbal or non-verbal threats, physical assault, stalking, or other methods of coercion such as manipulation, blackmail, or extortion. It is an aggressive behavior that intends to hurt, threaten or cause alarm to another person. An imbalance of power between the aggressor and the victim is often involved. Bullying occurs in a variety of contexts, such as schools, workplaces, political or military settings, and others,” according to a release from the township.

The Township Council unanimously proclaimed October 2018 as Anti-Bullying Month at its Sept. 25 meeting. During the month of October, the township of West Orange and the West Orange School District will support the Anti Bullying Month with activities, events and a social media campaign that is meant to educate and encourage members of the community to take a stand against bullying and empower those who feel bullied.

“With one of the most diverse populations in the state of New Jersey, West Orange should be a leader in the respect, tolerance, and acceptance of others, whether in person, in school, at work, or online,” WOSD communications coordinator Cynthia Cumming said. “We encourage the community to share our posts on social media this month and to keep the conversation going that ‘We Are West Orange’ … and that we will not stand for bullying of any kind.”

The West Orange HRC develops and implements programs and initiatives that encourage a positive and constructive dialogue within the township about diversity-related issues. The commission encourages the inclusion of all people in the leadership of civic and community issues and groups. The commission is involved in community-building tasks and strategies that enhance and sustain respect among different groups and people.