NYC PS & You: Promoting Respect in NYCPS – 02/09/2024

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Promoting Respect in NYCPS

Dear New Yorkers,

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about respect. It’s a value I’ve always tried to both model and instill in those around me—as a father, teacher, principal, and now as Chancellor. Respect is at the foundation of all strong communities, including our schools. And it’s needed now perhaps more than ever.

As the crisis in the Middle East continues, and many students, staff, and families are experiencing deep pain and fear, respect for our shared humanity is critical, a message I emphasized in recent remarks as we announced our plan to combat hate in NYCPS.

I also highlighted respect at the recent Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Summit, hosted at Midwood High School, where approximately 1,300 students and staff representing GSA clubs from across the city joined together to support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

And now we have another opportunity to discuss, emphasize and demonstrate respect at our annual Respect for All (RFA) Week. During RFA Week, which takes place February 12-16, schools lead programming that promotes belonging, honors diversity, and fights bullying and harassment. Schools have planned a wide range of creative activities this year, from no bullying pledges to a diversity celebration parade, from student-moderated panels to pronoun button workshops. PS 305 in Queens is even planning a wax museum, where some students dress as historical figures representing a wide range of identities, and other students visit the “museum” to learn about them!

I encourage families and staff to explore the Respect for All resources on our website, including information on how to report bullying if it does occur and instructions for identifying your school’s RFA liaison, who is the point person for any bullying or harassment concerns. And next week, as we celebrate and uplift respect, use the #RespectForAllWeek and #RespectForAll hashtags to share photos and videos of the great work you are doing.

We speak over 180 languages in NYC Public Schools. We have students and staff of every identity and background. Let’s celebrate that beautiful tapestry—during RFA Week and year-round.

Soaring high,

David C. Banks


Our Spotlight Video:

 Respect for All Week – 2024 on Vimeo

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