New campaign hopes to empower Albany students against bullying

ALBANY, N.Y. — A new campaign that aims to empower Albany students to stand up to bullying kicked off on Friday.

According to the US Department of Education, one in four students between grades 6 through 12 have experienced some type of bullying.

Albany Public Schools has chosen National Bullying Prevention Month to promote its newest collaboration to get students to start a conversation about bullying.

Bullying can cause depression, anxiety, and poor academic performance, according to medical experts. Albany schools program will help begin a conversation on what kids can do to prevent bullying in the district.

“I just want to be your friend, just want to make you happy,” sings Marcellus Gilchrist, an Arbor Hill 5th grader.

His words are part of a song against bullying that he wrote. He says he wrote the piece to get the word out that bullying is not ok.

“It’s spreading too fast, and people need to stop, it’s not fun to bully,” he said.

Which is the whole point behind a new campaign his school district is kicking off called “Don’t be a Bully.”

The campaign is kicking off with an anti-bullying poster contest among all 4th and 5th graders in the district, in the hopes that it will get kids talking about the issue.

“So we make sure that the bullies feel like the outcasts, not those being bullied,” said Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff.

The program is a partnership between the Albany Police Department, Albany Police Pal Program, Albany schools and CDPHP. The poster winner will get their poster on an I-90 billboard.

“This goes well beyond saying don’t be a bully, it actually challenges students to actually think about and demonstrate how they can prevent bullying,” said Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, City School District of Albany Superintendent.

The poster contest began Friday, and the winner will be revealed on December 19 before the opening of Capital Holiday Lights in Albany’s Washington Park.

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