Niagara Gazette

Communities

September 30, 2012

Bringing 'Dignity' to local schools

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

This last requirement has Niagara-Wheatfield principal Timothy Carter optimistic.

"Anything you shine a light on or focus attention on, you're going to see results," he said. "Putting it front and center has brought it to the attention of everyone. Kids should be able to come to school and know no one is going to harass them."

Of course, the strength of the law depends on how it is enforced. So principals at each of the three area school districts spent a large portion of their opening week speeches earlier this month detailing their expectations of the children. Carter said his talks resulted in a few instances of students reporting what they witnessed.

Though they didn't receive as many as they originally anticipated kicking the year off, the school has investigated enough claims to know the law was helping them address a problem which might have previously gone unheard.

"In the past, this type of thing spread out through the year," Carter said. "In the past, this type of thing could become a bigger issue where there's eventually a fight or a face-to-face standoff. We've been communicating to the students that's not the way to handle these things. Now, they're more wiling to report things early, more willing to tell. They don't necessarily want their name attached to it, but they're willing to come up and say 'that's not right.'"

Bullying in today's world

Though Lewiston-Porter seems the idyllic setting, where everyone gets along and the entire student body succeeds, given the district's high ranking in Buffalo Business First's yearly standings, according to high school principal Paul Casseri, there's a large amount of harassment students dish out to each other.

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