Hazing News

Burlington, Vermont has bullying and hazing oversight council, czar: Press Release

August 7, 2012

Phuket Jennings
Burlington School District

Henri Sparks, Equity Director of the Burlington School District, has been appointed to sit on the Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying Prevention Advisory Council recently announced by Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca. This council will provide a regular forum for communication and collaboration between Vermont’s Commissioner of Education and the community. Commissioner Vilaseca reports the goal of the council is to provide resources and supports to schools as they address issues of harassment, hazing and/or bullying.

Burlington Schools has committed to addressing the issue of harassment and discrimination, particularly around race, in recent months. Superintendent Jeanné Collins notes the District is pleased to have Sparks sitting on this council. “Burlington has a lot of experience to share with the state on addressing these issues. We also have much we can learn through conversation with other leaders in the state on how to improve our own climate. Mr. Sparks will be an excellent representative as he works within our own schools to create a welcoming climate for all students and families.”

The advisory council will be composed of a varied group of individuals, with Sparks the only school district representative. The council will be chaired by Tracey Tsugawa of the Vermont Human Rights Commission.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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