ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 226

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 16, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.

District 18 (Middlesex)

Assemblywoman† MILA M. JASEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Assemblyman† JON M. BRAMNICK

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Assemblywoman† VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Mosquera

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Urges Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford University Press to include word upstander in dictionary.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Assembly Resolution urging Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford University Press to include the word upstander in their dictionaries.

 

Whereas, An upstander is an individual who chooses to take positive action in the face of injustice in society or in situations in which individuals need assistance; and

Whereas, In 2002, Samantha Power, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, first introduced the word upstander to describe a person in her book, A Problem from Hell: America & The Age of Genocide, who defied logic, risked their careers and lives, and spoke up on behalf of distant victims; and

Whereas, Individuals who actively opposed the injustices of the Holocaust and other genocides, such as Rwanda and Darfur, have increasingly been referred to as upstanders by education programs and organizations; and

Whereas, Since 2007, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Educationís Maud Dahme Award has made use of the word upstander to describe an individual who demonstrated moral courage and a sense of humanity in defending others; and

Whereas, Holocaust educators and organizations have established upstander initiatives, encouraging students and adults to stand up to bullying, to not be bullies, and to take responsibility for stopping bullying in their respective schools and communities; and†

Whereas, The word upstander is also used to describe an individual who stands up to bullying whether at school, home, work, house of worship, or out with friends, family, colleagues, or teammates; and

Whereas, Bullying incidents are more likely to occur in a school setting, with nearly one in every three students disclosing that they have been bullied at least once while attending school; and

Whereas, Student bystanders are often aware of bullying incidents before most adults in a school setting, with 71 percent of students disclosing that they have witnessed bullying at their respective schools; and

Whereas, More than half of bullying incidents can be stopped when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied, within 10 seconds of the incident happening; and

Whereas, Anti-bullying movements across the State of New Jersey, including the Tyler Clementi Foundation, a non-profit organization named after the Rutgers University student who took his own life as a result of being bullied, have used the word upstander to raise awareness and encourage bystanders to speak up; and

Whereas, Nonprofit organizations, such as Facing History and Ourselves, an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed society, and educational institutions have utilized the word upstander in anti-bullying strategies across the United States to raise awareness of the term and what it means to be an upstander; and

Whereas, Superintendent Richard Labbe of the Sayreville School District drew national attention to the word upstander while addressing the locker room misconduct that led to the shut down of the Sayreville High School football program; and

Whereas, Monica Mahal and Sarah Decker, who graduated from Watchung Hills Regional High School in 2013, have started an online petition asking others to properly recognize upstanders and to support the movement to define upstander; and

Whereas, Oxford University Press has placed upstander on Oxfordís new words watch list earlier this year; and

Whereas, It is fitting and proper for this House to raise awareness of the word upstander and to encourage not only citizens of the State of New Jersey, but of the entire United States of America to become upstanders instead of bystanders; now, therefore,

 

†††† Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† This House urges Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford University Press to include the word upstander in their dictionaries.

†††† 2.††† Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the Chief Executive Officers of Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford University Press.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This resolution urges Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford University Press to include the word upstander in dictionary.

†††† In 2002, Samantha Power, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, first introduced the word upstander to describe a person in her book, A Problem from Hell: America & The Age of Genocide, who defied logic, risked their careers and lives, and spoke up on behalf of distant victims. An upstander is an individual who chooses to take positive action in the face of injustice in society or in situations in which individuals need assistance.

†††† An upstander is also a person who stands up to bullying, whether at school, home, work, house of worship, or out with friends, family, colleagues, or teammates. Superintendent Richard Labbe of the Sayreville School District drew national attention to the word upstander while addressing the locker room misconduct that led to the shut down of the Sayreville High School football program.

†††† Bullying incidents are more likely to occur in a school setting, with nearly one in every three students disclosing that they have been bullied at least once while attending school. Student bystanders are often aware of bullying incidents before most adults in a school setting, with 71 percent of students disclosing that they have witnessed bullying at their respective schools. More than half of bullying incidents can be stopped when a peer intervenes, on behalf of the student being bullied, within ten seconds of the incident happening.

†††† Nonprofit organizations, such as Facing History and Ourselves, an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed society, and educational institutions have utilized the word upstander in anti-bullying strategies to raise awareness of the term and what it means to be an upstander.