Alexander, NY – Alexander Middle School students have unveiled a slogan and logo to stop bullying today – with the support of school administrators, Batavia Muckdogs President Brian Paris and State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer. The campaign slogan, ‘Build Up. Don’t Tear People Down,” will be included with others on banners from Batavia, Oakfield-Alabama, Elba and Caledonia-Mumford schools during the Batavia Muckdogs Anti-Bullying Night on June 28.
“Over the past few years school bullying has become more serious and prevalent. I applaud the administrators, faculty and parents for working with students on this important issue,” said Senator Ranzenhofer. “I am honored to join Alexander school students in their campaign to prevent bullying. The students did a great job designing the logo and slogan.”
“As a building principal, one of my primary responsibilities is to provide students with a safe and secure environment in which to learn. This collaboration between local school districts is a unique way to demonstrate our commitment to the prevention of bullying both inside and outside of school. I am very proud of the work that has been accomplished thus far and I am confident that these efforts will have a positive impact on students, parents and the community,” said Alexander Middle/High School Principal Shannon Whitcombe.
“It is every citizens obligation to work in such a way as to create a safe and secure environment at our schools in order that our children are able to learn effectively and unhindered. To this end it is tragically evident that bullying has become a social disease that has grown to a dangerous level within our communities school systems. It is my hope and prayer that we can initiate, at Alexander Central School on May 14th, the beginning of a sustained, successful and exciting campaign that will work in eradicating the unacceptable behavior of bullying,” said Batavia Muckdogs President Brian Paris.
Statistics show that efforts are working in states where bullying prevention is taught in schools. According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, bullying can be reduced by up to 50% when there is a school-wide commitment to preventative and educational programs
aimed at raising awareness, increasing teacher and parent involvement, forming clear rules and strong social norms against bullying and providing support and protection for students.
Senator Ranzenhofer announced his support last week for anti-bullying legislation that would:
• Improve education for teachers, parents and students to prevent bullying and cyber-bullying
• Define bullying and cyber-bullying and add these acts to the list of incidents for which disciplinary measures must be taken pursuant to the school district’s code of conduct
• Require all school employees to report incidents of bullying and cyber-bullying
• Create the crime of Aggravated Harassment of Teachers and School Personnel
• Elevate the penalties associated with the crimes of hazing, particularly in cases where a person is injured or dies
“This anti-bullying legislation would give school superintendents and principals the authority and guidance to prevent bullying and handle disciplinary issues properly. More importantly, this legislation assures parents that when they send their kids to school, they will be learning in a safe environment,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.
New York is only one of seven states that do not have a law to target school bullying. Bully Police, a national watchdog group, has given New York State its lowest grade for not passing a law to protect school children from bullies.
Senator Ranzenhofer has been serving in the State Senate since 2009. He represents the 61st Senate District which includes part of the city of Tonawanda, the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, Newstead and Tonawanda in Erie County and all of Genesee County.