Anti-Bullying Measures State Law in Schools
9/10/2012 (Updated 9:46:31 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
The 2010 Dignity for all Students Act took effect this July around New York state. The law requires schools to collect and record data regarding bullying. And schools must have a system to allow people to anonymously report bullying.
"Bullying is at the same level now as sexual harassment in the schools," said David Garbarino, Director of Health and Athletics at Binghamton High School.
The consequences of being bullied can be severe.
"They Start avoiding school because they don't want to be in that horrible situation," said Dr. Suzanne McLeod, Union-Endicott Superintendent of Schools.
10 area districts use the Olweus bullying prevention program. It provides bully-prevention training and focuses on what bystanders can do to stop bullying. The Binghamton School District has used the program for the past five years; Union-Endicott has used it for the past two-and-a-half years.
"The school that implemented first has had a dramatic reduction in discipline referrals," said McLeod.
Union-Endicott uses the Sprigeo software system which allows people to anonymously report bullying incidents on-line. But for those who would rather do it in person, whether it be parents or students, there's the bully box right here in the main office of the Jennie F. Snapp Middle School.
"We have students coming in. I've had three reports so far this year," said Jennie F. Snapp Principal Ann Marie Foley.
"Somewhere in the community, or a student, or a teacher or anyone can repeat an incident of what they think is bullying," said McLeod.
Schools that have implemented the Olweus system are showing results.
"There's been a significan difference in the way the kids treat each other. They all know that bullying kids just doesn't cut it anymore," said Garbarino.
"Just because it was accepted practice 40, 50, 100, 5 years ago does not make it right. So now we are making it right," said McLeod.
****In Endicott, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News.****
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