ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- The Elmsford Board of Education, combined with village trustees and Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, renewed a joint commitment to anti-bullying on Wednesday, Oct. 5, during a special board meeting held in the district's Alice E. Grady Elementary School gym.
Mayor Robert Williams applauded the initiative, saying the reason for its success has been due to the strong partnership that exists between all three entities and the efforts that have been made to highlight the negative effects of bullying.
According to national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, bullying is widespread throughout the nation, affecting 20 percent of the country's high school students.
"The fact that we are talking about bullying is a giant leap forward," said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Ricca, referring to research that shows that persistent bullying can create psychological trauma well into adulthood.
Ricca added that the richness of the Elmsford community means that everyone can celebrate the "beauty of our differences." Students, however, must understand that this type of behavior is dangerous, he said, but additional education is the key, not punishment.
"I am proud of what everyone is doing in our buildings," Ricca noted. "While this meeting tonight is a public expression of our intentions, this work is going on, day in, day out throughout our district."
The original anti-bullying poster that was created four years ago by the village and the school district was on display during the meeting, as was another poster declaring Elmsford's commitment to America's PrepareAthon!
That initiative is a nationwide, community-based campaign to increase awareness and preparedness among the community regarding hazards such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and winter storms.
Ricca urged those present to sign up for the district's Connect Ed alert system so that they can receive emergency notifications via phone call, text message or email. You can sign up here.