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Pleasantville Schools Aim to Stop Bullying

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Signs reading "I think I'm fat" or "I have acne" hang on the walls at Pleasantville Middle School as part of an anti-bullying campaign put together by Principal Vivian Ossowski. "We want students to walk the hallways and be reminded that everyone is insecure about something and that they shouldn't be teasing other children about it," Ossowski said. Middle school students have been asked to anonymously write down one thing they are insecure about. The papers were then collected and typed up to ensure identities were not disclosed before being hung around the school. This project is one of many in Ossowski's anti-bullying committee, PAWS, Positive, Accountable, Well-Mannered, and Safe. "In these grade levels, so much of what the students do is based off what their peers do," Ossowski. The middle school held a kickoff anti-bullying assembly for all grades, where behavior expectations for the year were given. School administrators also discussed how to stop bullying and how to be aware of sneaky bullying. In the Bedford Road School, Principal Peggy Galotti is implementing a similar anti-bullying campaign. "We want to focus on character education," Galotti said. "Making sure that each student is making good decisions and that they treat everyone with respect," At the middle school, Ossowski said students can even be rewarded for standing up for another student. Any student who stands up for another child who is being bullied will be awarded a special bracelet and can earn class coupons that may be redeemed for things like an ice cream party with friends. "The majority of students aren't bullies," Ossowski said. "However, a lot of those students can be bystanders and we want to stress how important it is for those students to speak up and stop bullying,"

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