In light of the apparent anti-gay murder that took place last Saturday in Greenwich Village, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is requiring all schools to organize at least one anti-bullying event before they let out in June.
Walcott announced the initiative alongside City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn at a press conference on Monday. Walcott said he will ask schools to hold an event designed to teach tolerance and prevent bullying and hate crimes, DNAinfo reports.
“No student should fear going to school because of bullying or harassment," said Walcott, according to the outlet. "Given the recent events, I am asking that all schools incorporate anti-bullying lessons into end of year assemblies, programs and curricula to highlight the importance of treating people with respect and dignity.”
Quinn contacted Walcott about implementing the anti-hate crime initiative, Gotham Schools reports. If elected, Quinn will be the city’s first openly gay mayor.
“I don’t know why it feels like we’ve taken a step backwards but that is the case,” Quinn said, according to the outlet. “What we’re going to do is push forward and make sure we do the organizing, education, and public safety work we need to do to make sure we don’t go backwards.”
Quinn, who said she was shaken by the alleged hate crime against 32-year-old Mark Carson, also announced that there would be more police presence on Manhattan’s west side following the murder, according to the New York Daily News.
Carson’s alleged attacker, Elliot Morales, is currently being held without bail.