ROOSEVELT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Students at a Long Island elementary school took a stand against bullying Wednesday, making a pledge to stop mean behavior and make kindness the norm.
As CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported, the 727 students at Washington Rose Elementary School stood together and held hands as they recited their new anti-bullying pledge Wednesday.
“I will be respectful of others and their feelings. I will not bully or tease others. I will reach out to others who are being bullied,” the pledge reads. “If I see someone bullying I will go and tell an adult.”
The children’s small hands were clasped, their eyes were bright and their voices were loud as they recited the pledge. Even the youngest students said they know bullying their classmates is wrong.
“Because you might get hurt,” said first grader Mireddys Marquez.
“You make them sad,” said second grader Christian Guzman.
Older students were all too aware of the harshest outcomes of bullying.
“I think they don’t feel encouraged, like the whole world is crashing around them,” said sixth grader Angel Torres.
A lot of people in the United States committed suicide because they started getting bullied,” said sixth grader Kevin Diaz.
Kevin said that statistic makes him sad, and so he is happy to help lead the pledge because he takes the words to heart.
“I believe everyone has a right to be who he or she is without being bullied or made fun of,” he said.
Teachers said bullying is not a big problem at Washington Rose Elementary School, but they want to make sure it never becomes one.
“We see how much of an epidemic it has become, unfortunately, and it even starts as young as elementary school,” said student council adviser Rosa Dluginsky.
“The parents really appreciate the fact that we’re going at this head on, because the importance of keeping their child safe is the top priority for them,” said school principal Clyde Braswell.
From here on out, students will recite the anti-bullying pledge every morning in every classroom, with older children promising to lead by example.
“I think it would make a happier environment in the school,” said sixth grader Jaliyah Dingle.
To make it fun, teachers will give prizes to students whose behavior is in keeping with the anti-bullying pledge and can recite it on the spot.
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