Ulster County is working to help end bullying in all forms: digital, verbal and physical. It is important for youth, families and teachers to know that they are not alone and that there are resources available in Ulster County which speak to bullying issues.
Annually, one of the ways my office helps raise awareness is by participating in No Name-Calling Week (NNCW), a national bullying prevention campaign developed by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) which is co-sponsored by the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center and the Safe Schools Round Table of the Hudson Valley. The focus is on “Celebrating Kindness” in order to create safe schools free from name-calling, bullying and bias. In previous years, we have developed webcasts, videos for elementary and middle school students, visited school assemblies and classrooms and collaborated with other local youth groups.
In 2016, Ulster County partnered with the Voice Theatre to provide over 50 anti-bullying workshops at six high schools throughout the County. These workshops gave hundreds of students the opportunity to explore the themes of bullying: "the role of the other," "the role of the perpetrator" and the "role of the victim" as they practiced conflict resolution. Ulster County also partnered with the Don't Be A Monster Program during National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in October, making it possible for presentations to be held at some of our middle schools throughout the County with the goal of educating and empowering students to be leaders in their school regarding diversity, inclusiveness, and to start conversations about how to stand up for their friends and peers.
In 2017, County Executive Mike Hein signed the Ulster County Law prohibiting cyberbullying to help protect youth under the age of eighteen. The law can be viewed here.
In 2018, County Executive Hein and Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center Executive Director Jeff Rindler announced an important anti-cyberbullying initiative that would focus on education and prevention, and would consist of a Steering Committee to assist in the development of the programming. A social media campaign was launched in partnership with the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center in November of 2018.
Please see resource page for contact information, videos and past events. For additional information please contact my office at 845-340-3800.