Welcome to the Town of Greenburgh
Supervisors Office  
News & Information  

  Select News to View

Please select the year.
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

Back to Article List

Bullying --NYS protects students in public but not private schools
Release Date: December 03, 2017

Greenburgh student who attended private school and was bullied didn't get the help she needed from the private school..

A resident of Greenburgh, Iris Schlesinger,  who sent her daughter to a private school in northern Westchester had a very bad experience with bullying. Her daughter was bullied by a fellow student. The  School administrators refused to take appropriate disciplinary action against the student who bullied  her daughter.
Anna then withdrew from the private school and did not get a refund (tuition is about 40,000 a year).
There is currently an anti bullying statute that applies to public schools. However- it doesn't apply to private schools. News 12 aired the following story about this matter. I feel that  the NYS Legislature and NYS Department of Education should  change the laws to provide all students with protection against bullying--whether they attend private or public schools.  And, intend to contact the Westchester delegation to the NYS Legislature and the NYS Department of Education and will urge them to take action.
If you have a child that attends a private school and has experienced a bullying incident -what were your experiences?

this is the news12.com story...
Turn To Tara: Law could leave private school students vulnerable to bullying

A loophole in New York state law could leave thousands of students vulnerable to bullying.

A Turn to Tara investigation shows that the state's anti-bullying laws only apply to public schools.

Anna Schlesinger attends an elite private school in Westchester. She says she sent a letter to the dean of students citing all of the hateful things done to her by a classmate. The school cannot be mentioned due to an ongoing lawsuit.

Schlesinger says it began as just verbal attacks until it led to a death threat from a classmate.

"He told me to drink bleach and commit suicide," she says.

Schlesinger says she was on an app called House Party when the classmate broke into the conversation. She says the classmate showed the group bullets and said that Schlesinger and another girl were on a hit list.

Schlesinger says it scared her because she remembered the Sandy Hook school shootings, where 26 children were killed. She says the classmate made a similar threat in person.

Schlesinger reluctantly shared the information with her mother. They thought the child would be suspended or forced to apologize.

Instead, the alleged bully, who News 12 has been told is a well-known actor, went unpunished.

Schlesinger says the school came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any proof it happened in school.

Schlesinger's mom contacted the Greenburgh Police Department and met Special Victims Detective Nick Parikka, who informed her that their hands are usually tied in these types of cases.

Extended Turn to Tara interview: SVU detective shares tips on how to protect your children from cyberbullying

While the Dignity for All Students Act, or DASA, legally prohibits bullying in New York and outlines criteria to prevent and respond to it, Article 17 states that the law only applies to public schools. This loophole doesn't exist in other nearby states like New Jersey.

Most private schools do have their own guidelines on bullying, but the loophole essentially allows them to self-regulate and avoid the legal requirement that public schools have to refer the most extreme cases to police.

Of all the bullying incidents referred to his unit last year, Parikka says not one came from a private school administrator.
Iris Schlesinger was recently offered a partial tuition refund in exchange for not publicly revealing the name of the school. Anna Schlesinger has transferred to another school in Manhattan.

They both say they will continue speaking out

Info on the statute follows... (protections against bullying in public but not private schools...

Print this page Print this page Print this page Email this page Email this page

Contact Information | Home | Town Supervisor | Town Council | Town Clerk's Office | Tax Department | Departments | Documents & Forms | Town Code | GIS Maps, Tax and Assessment Information | Agendas & Minutes | Watch Live Board Meetings | Public Access TV On Demand | Links | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | Employment Opportunities | Town Updates by E-Mail | Pay Parking Tickets Online | Pay Water Bill Online | On-Line Tax Payments | Map to Town Hall
Use Mobile Site

Copyright © 2014 Town of Greenburgh, NY. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Cit-e-Net