Assistant Principal Michelle Crisafulli, who was one of the organizers of the event, commented, "The "Stand up! Don't Stand By!" event was so moving. The excitement about the morning's activities, combined with our students' and staff's commitment to making Baker High a great school to learn in was apparent in every classroom and hallway."
She said the event was a reminder of how valuable it is for educators today to address the many aspects of a child's life - social, emotional and physical as well as educational.
Principal Joseph DeBarbieri said the "Stand Up! Don't Stand By!" day was successful for the school because it was specifically designed to meet the needs of Baker students.
"The dialogues and activities that students participated in throughout the morning were primarily student-created, and the students' video was extremely moving," he said. "I commend our staff for taking a risk to open up a dialogue with students about this important issue. They made an often uncomfortable topic feel as comfortable as possible."
In September, Governor David Paterson signed into law the Dignity for All Students Act to help ensure that school administrators and educators in New York State have the resources they need to create and maintain a safe and civil educational environment free from harassment, discrimination and bullying. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2012. Baker High School's administrators decided to hold the anti-bullying event on Dec. 10 to begin a dialogue in the school regarding bullying in order to be proactive in the school's efforts to address harassment in all of its forms so that students have an optimal instructional environment.