Community Forum on Youth Bias - PCTI

Community Forum on Youth Bias - PCTI

On Monday, June 7, 2021, the PCPO Legal and Investigative Bias Team, in conjunction with the Office of the Office of the Attorney General, conducted a Youth Bias Forum for faculty and student at the Passaic County Technical Institute.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jason Harding, supervisor of the PCPO Juvenile Unit, served as moderator for the two-hour event.  The panelists included Senior Assistant Prosecutor (SAP) Vivian Khalil, former Bias Legal Advisor, Dave Inigo, PCTI Engineering School Counselor and Anti-Bullying Specialist, Detective First Grade (DFG) Nancy Petrara-Stafyleras, PCPO Counter Terrorism Coordinator, and David D’Amico, Chief Investigator for the Middlesex County Department of Corrections and Youth Services.

SAP Khalil began the panel discussion by explaining the actual definition of Bias crimes, while providing examples of bias crimes and explaining the consequences of committing a bias crime, including grading and penalties.    

Mr. Dave Inigo illustrated several programs the PCTI offers including, but not limited to: School Violence Prevention Week, Anti-Bullying Week, and “Bulldogs Take Action Week.” Mr. Inigo also spoke about HIB (harassment, intimidation, and bullying) training provided to both students and educators, as well as the measures taken when an act of bullying is reported.

DFG Petrara-Stafyleras delivered pertinent data about trends and statistics of Bias Incidents broken down by municipality and targeted group.

Chief Investigator D’Amico addressed the difference between a Bias Incident and a Bias Crime and the consequences of each, including “How Hate Happens”, and the “Pyramid of Prejudice”.

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