McNamara Elementary works to end bullying

To remind students that bullying is not tolerated in the Baldwinsville Central School District, Jeffrey Seltzer, school social worker at McNamara Elementary School, visited every classroom in second through fifth grade in the building to discuss bullying and how students can put an end to it at their school. "We're changing the culture in the building," Seltzer said.

His presentations included a clear definition of bullying that is being used school wide: bullying is the use of power to hurt someone else's body, property or feelings, is done on purpose, and may also be a pattern of behavior. Seltzer explained that McNamara students have been taught that they have qualities, which he calls "upstander" qualities, which they can use to prevent, interrupt and stop bullying, instead of remaining a bystander to it. "Upstander" qualities are:

    Respect - show value for others;

Caring - keep an eye out for others being bullied;

Cooperation- work together with others to help stop the bully; and

Responsibility- speak out and stand up to the bully.

Seltzer also gave students guidelines, or "telling" rules, to help them determine when they need to seek the help of an adult if they are bullied or witness bullying.

As a culminating activity, the school held an antibullying poster contest. Forty-six students created posters, and the school chose 12 to be matted, framed and hung in the school's high traffic areas, such as in the stairways and above drinking fountains, as visual reminders throughout the building of the school's antibullying message.

The following students' posters are on display in the building: Brooke Arnold, Jennie Blake, Lauren Chapman, Eliza McMahon, Alina Minkova, Erin Mordaunt, Kaycie Romano, Jackie Smith, Lanie Taylor, Caleb Voorhees, Davis Weakley and Kaylee Wilson.

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