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

August 7, 2012

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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

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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