The Township of Maplewood is observing the New Jersey Week of Respect, an initiative to address bullying by the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, which enacted into law in 2011.
The Maplewood Township Committee read an official proclamation in recognition of the week, which runs from Oct. 7 to Oct. 11.
“The White House estimates that 13 million young people are bullied each year, about a third of all students,” said Deputy Mayor Kathleen Leventhal in reading the proclamation.
According to the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, bullying means any gesture, written, verbal or physical act, or electronic communication that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by an actual or perceived characteristic, such as sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, mental or physical disability or any other distinguishing characteristic.
“Garden State Equality along with students, teachers, leaders and community members will gather this week in Maplewood to bring awareness regarding ways to combat bullying harassment and intimidation,” said Leventhal. “Activities this week will increase the public's awareness of this problem and the need to change the climate and culture of bullying that is adversely affecting our youth.”
Oct. 1 was also named “Bully Free New Jersey Day.”