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Councilman proposing plan to fight bullying crisis in schools

New legislation would force city schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to lead an anti-bullying task force to fight the crisis unfolding in city schools.

The bill, which City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) plans to introduce at a hearing Tuesday, comes after a record 81% of students reported being bullied in the school year that ended in June. Students also blamed bullying for a Bronx student’s murder at his school in September.

Levine’s bill would require Fariña or a delegate to head an anti-bullying task force, with members appointed by City Hall, City Council and the city police. The bill requires the task force to issue recommendations, within one year of the law’s passage, on how city schools can address bullying.

“We need to take action and we need to take action now,” Levine said. “Bullying can be destructive to a child’s confidence and mental health.”

City Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said the agency will review the bill.

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