As the father of a child with extra needs, Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco has long supported anti-bullying initiatives. That’s why he’s introducing an ordinance that would strengthen anti-bullying measures whenever vulnerable youth interact with city property.
“What happens on bus stops, in busses, in after school programs?” Grieco asked. “Not only that but also parks programs, where a lot of people do aftercare and camps and related [things].”
This ordinance is part of an aspirational program to formalize anti-bullying trainings and measures within the entire city’s parks department. It would also focus on a citywide bullying prevention program, one that aims to eliminate bullying in public libraries, recreation centers, after school programs, and other public spaces.
“You have to be able to train staff to recognize what’s going on … bullying is sometimes subtle — I see it first hand with my son, whether through ostracizing words or violence. Here is a formal training people can receive, and then expand that training to children.”
Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County generally have strong policies in place for anti-bullying initiatives, but “just because the city of Miami Beach is a nationwide leader in equal rights doesn’t mean we should rest on laurels and not do more,” Grieco urged.
Why is this important?
Bullying doesn’t just stop at school grounds. It can extend to public parks, libraries, and other public spaces. This ordinance would formalize anti-bullying training and measures and aim to prevent bullying through the entire city of Miami Beach.
Where South Florida stands
Miami-Dade County and Broward County already have anti-bullying policies in their school systems, but this initiative in Miami Beach would set a precedent for establishing citywide anti-bullying measures. If passed it would be the first city outside of Washington D.C. to implement this.
What cities are doing best
Miami Beach is leading the way to citywide anti-bullying measures, making it a safer community for all local youth.
How can we do better?
Urge Miami Beach commissioners to introduce this ordinance in their upcoming commission meetings. Miami Beach is a prime place to start new policy initiatives because there’s no political battle about it and they have the resources in city’s attorney’s office to make sure the policy is model policy.