Albany, NY - November 18, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today sent a letter to State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia regarding recently reported incidents of hate speech and discrimination in schools across New York. In the letter, the Governor requested that the State Education Department take immediate action to address these instances of prejudice, including requiring training for both staff and students on discriminatory behavior prohibited under state law.
At the Governor’s direction, this week the state launched a toll-free hotline to report incidents of bias and discrimination. Residents who have experienced bias-motivated threats, harassment or discrimination are encouraged to call DHR’s toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. If you want to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.
“In recent days, reports of hateful rhetoric and divisive acts have attempted to shake who we are as New Yorkers – let me be clear: this is not who we are and it is not who we will ever be,” Governor Cuomo said. “I have requested that the State Education Department immediately hold trainings for both staff and students to address discriminatory behavior and stand firm against growing incidences of intolerance. Together, we must send a strong message to our children – that New York is, and will always be, one people, not divided, but united.”
The full text of the Governor’s letter can be viewed here