Update 10/3/04:

(1) The next meeting of the network will be on Tuesday 11/9/04 12:30pm at NJ Law Center. Non-profit organizations wishing to participate should contact Stuart Green at 908 522-2581 or you can click here to email.

(2) The LW case (see 8/20/04 news note, below) continues to move toward appeal and review by the courts. Network organizations will receive word as soon as may be needed about the possibility of participating in the develop of an 'amicus' brief.

(3) The trend towards recognizing the importance of bullying and taking at least some steps toward addressing it on the parts of schools and the larger community shows no sign of abating (yet). An ongoing process of checking national and international media (through Google alerts and other search processes) and the educational, health and medical literature shows several broad patterns, including:

(a) Recognition of additional social and health effects of bullying. One sign of increased recognition is studies which assess bullying across more child health conditions (it's fair to say that the more the issue is looked for, the more it appears - reflecting reality - because the issue is so prevalent and so important). As a small example in my own recent work: I was asked to give a talk on bullying at an annual adoption conference (in NJ), and did a search for bullying-related literature in the adoption field. There isn't much (yet), but I've already found a study which indicates that bullying is a major reason children run away from foster care and other placement settings. As another small example (of increasing recognition), I'll be giving a talk on health effects of bullying at Family Violence Prevention Fund's annual meeting in Boston, the first talk on bullying of which I'm aware at this meeting. Other network members have been deluged with requests for talks and trainings (I'm most aware of this for Randy Ross/Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations and for Leisa-Anne Smith/NJ Star Bar Foundation, but I'm sure this applies to the other major training providers in NJ, such as Cheryl Mojta of Child Assault Prevention, and Michael Greene of Youth Consultation Services) Iin the next revision of the website, there will be an events and activities page on which talks and trainings given by network participants will be listed and highlighted - there's a lot going on!)

(b) More awareness of the impact of bullying on adults, both in terms of bullying which occurs between adults (primarily workplace but also within other - e.g., government/community  - domains, and effects of childhood bullying on adult life - e.g., post-traumatic effects). [On this point, broader impact on adult life has still not become a focus: e.g., the way in which exposure to bullying impacts child self-expression and development of strengths important to adult functioning, effects of childhood bullying on shaping adult relationships and decisions.]

(c) Increasing recognition of hazing (although media still do not use the term 'bullying' in their reports about hazing, acting as if the two phenomena were different, a strategy which results in 'under-noticing' bullying), and increased reporting of hazing (bullying, really) occurrences.

(d) Some signs that the larger community (beyond the schools) is recognizing its responsibility for the continuance of bullying (in the schools, and elsewhere). Two examples:

(1) New York (city) has just joined the (still minority) ranks of communities in which legislation requiring that schools address bullying has been passed. Such legislation is typically weak, because sanctions are typically very mild, or - in ome places - non-existent. But its passage still represents an improvement in awareness and may produce some new outcomes as well.

(2) Cranford, NJ (disclaimer: I do work on bullying in that community, so the example is self-serving, and I'm obviously more aware of activities there) has launched a 'Cranford Cares About Bullying' campaign, related to the state's Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations' state campaign, 'NJ Cares About Bullying', under leadership (in Cranford) of the Interfaith Clergy Council (10 congregations) and its Human Relations Committee. The first public activity of the Cranford campaign is a 'Sabbath Awareness Weekend' on Oct. 23-24, the key feature of which is that leaders of all 10 congregations will address ullying that weekend in sermons and through religious education and youth activity meetings. For more information, you can contact the town campaign leader, Rabbi Akiba Lubow, at 908 276-9231, or the Coalition ( 908 522-2581 or click here to email Stuart Green). Here is the town flyer: CCAB FLYER