Schools, their students and teachers have become very familiar with the term “Bullying”. Bullying is the use of force to abuse or intimidate others. It can involve verbal harassment or threat, physical assault and may be directed repeatedly toward particular victims, perhaps, on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.

The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "target”. Schools throughout the Capital District have been going above and beyond to try and make everyone aware of how serious bullying can be and the affects it has on the individual who is being targeted. Starting in the elementary schools and moving up to the high schools, they have adapted new anti-bullying programs into their systems so that all their students are informed and aware of the term “Bullying”.

One school in particular that has been doing an amazing job to stop bullying is Ms.Fuller’s 4th grade class at Arbor Hill Elementary School in Albany, NY. My intern, Keisha, visited the class and documented her conversation with Ms. Fuller and her students:

When I first went to the class I didn’t know what to expect, but little did I know the class was very welcoming and had many things they wanted to say about bullying and how great of a job their school is doing to end it. I asked Ms.Fuller and her class a number of questions on the anti-bullying program the school had put in place and how it has decreased the number of bullying incidents.

I started with Ms.Fuller, who said that Arbor Hill had implemented a very proactive anti-bullying program. She said each month the school has an assembly where they show the students great character traits and how you should talk out your problems with your peers, or an adult, and to treat each other with respect.

The school also implemented a positive behavior plan where students who do the right thing can receive positive behavior tickets. I then asked Ms.Fuller what results have she has seen since the program went into effect.

“No one in my class has went to the office this year” Ms. Fuller said with a big smile.

Next I went directly to the the students, who were very excited to talk to me about what they’ve learned. They also wanted to share the essays they had written about bullying. They wanted to sing and rap for me as well, how cute! I asked each student individually what you should do if you are being bullied or witness someone being bullied. Most of them said the same thing - to tell an adult and to tell the bully to stop picking on people because it hurts your feelings. Other students told me that you could close your eyes and count to 10 or just walk away and tell an adult.

I asked the students what they have learned from the anti-bullying program and they said that being a bully is not cool and that no one would want to be your friend if you are mean and hurt people’s feelings.

After I was done getting the 411 on Arbor Hill’s amazing anti-bullying program I can honestly say that the program is very helpful and proactive for the students. I felt the response I had gotten from the students made me a true believer that the kids are doing the best they can do to help end bullying. They are being very proactive in showing good character traits and being nice to one another. They also showed me that they are actually listening to their teachers and using what they have been taught about bullying to make Arbor Hill a good environment to go to school and make good friends.

Thank you Arbor Hill Elementary and Ms. Fuller for allowing us into their classroom for a day.

A BIG, special thank you to CDTA for being the driving force behind Hot 99.1’s anti-bullying campaign. Don’t be a bully!