Is New Milford Working on It’s Bullying Problem? Mayor Bass Says Yes
On February 27, 2023, CT Examiner published an article titled: "Parents Call Unchecked Bullying Common Knowledge in New Milford Public Schools."
The report chronicled case after case of bullying stories from students, former students and parents of the New Milford School District. The takeaway was clear, bullying is a real problem in New Milford Schools at every level and it has been for some time.
The school has taken some measures to end, or at least curb bully behavior in recent months under the leadership of the school's brand new Superintendent Janet Parlato but we wanted to know more. What role does the town play in this? Can they help? Are they taking steps to make New Milford Schools safer for all students?
We asked those questions and more to New Milford Mayor Pete Bass. Bass joined the I-95 Morning Show with Ethan, Lou & Dave on Thursday (3/9/23). Below is a transcript of that discussion.
Tell about what has been going on with bullying in town and what steps are being taken?
"We've had a lot of our parents, a few of them came up to the board of education meeting a couple of weeks ago and talked about their actual, personal experiences when it comes to bullying in the school system. Then, prior to that we've been doing a lot in the background looking at kids, especially coming out of COVID when they had isolation issues, they had issues because of the hybrid learning and then, totally remote learning. So, we knew there would be some real gaps especially when it comes to the learning piece and then, the social emotional issues. So, one of the things we did do, prior to Superintendent Parlato coming in was we have a new app that we just rolled out called Anonymous Alerts. Either the child with parental permission or the parents themselves can download this app and it allows you to, in real time report an issue. You can do it anonymously or you can go ahead and pretty much disclose who you are. That is anything from bullying to crime to fighting, there is a whole dropdown list. You can either do it within the school system of where that action would go to the appropriate administrators or here in town. This is a town wide effort where it would be both the town, the police department and our youth agency which runs our juvenile review board."
The Mayor underscored the new Superintendent's efforts since assuming the role just weeks ago. Mayor Bass told us Janet Parlato has been calling concerned parents and speaking directly with them.
Find out what extra measures the Town of New Milford is taking to combat this problem in the discussion below.
Listen to our entire Pete Bass interview from Thursday (3/9/23) below. We also spoke about 2023 restaurant week, the NY Jets and Hollywood coming to town.