Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Proclaims: January 30th to February 3rd as NO NAME CALLING WEEK In Ulster County

Posted February 3, 2012

As Part Of NNCW, County Executive Hein Sponsors Anti Bullying Webinar For Middle School Students And Teachers

Kingston, NY – County Executive Mike Hein proclaimed the week of January 30th No Name Calling Week in UlsterCounty.  No Name Calling Week (NNCW) is an opportunity to provide educational activities aimed at ending name calling of all kinds, especially bullying. During this week, numerous educational events are being held in UlsterCounty designed to put an end bullying.

As part of NNCW in UlsterCounty, County Executive Mike Hein and Hudson Valley LGBTQ sponsored a webinar on February 3rd to provide middle school students and teachers with resources to help address bullying.  The webcast is available via download:


 “Bullying is a serious problem nationwide, but it is important for students, parents and school administrators to understand that there are resources available in UlsterCounty to help,” said County Executive Mike Hein.  “My office hosted this webinar because I want anyone dealing with a bullying situation to know where to turn to for help. As we work to make UlsterCounty the healthiest county in New YorkState, curtailing bullying is an extremely important part of this effort.”

According to BullyingStatistics.Org:

  • About 2.7 million students are bullied each year.
  • Every Day approximately 160,000 children miss school out of fear of being bullied.
  • About one in seven students in grades kindergarten through 12 is either a bully or has been a victim of bullying.
  • About 56 percent of all students have witnessed a bullying crime take place while at school.
  • About 71 percent of students report bullying as an on-going problem.
  • Cyberbullying is becoming more and more rampant.
  • Approximately one out of every 10 students drop out or change schools because of repeated bullying.

Participants in the webinar included: Mike Hein, Ulster County Executive; Joakim Lartey, Coordinator of Supportive Learning Environments and Positive Youth Development at Ulster County BOCES; Rob Conlon, Co-Chair of GLSEN Hudson Valley; Jesse Robie, Team Leader of Adolescent Services at Family of Woodstock; Amy White, Teacher at Bailey Middle School; James B, Childs Jr., Pastor at Pointe of Praise; John Dickson, Detective at the Ulster Police Department; Cherelyn Volpert, Guidance Counselor at Bailey Middle School; and Michele Bertelle, Community Resource Coordinator at the Mental Health Association.

“Together, we can and we must make lasting change to put an end to the problem of bullying and provide safe schools and communities for all our youth, said Vanessa Shelmandine, Project Director at HudsonValleyLGBTQCommunity Center.  “This begins with a commitment to uphold respect for every individual and family.  We are proud that Ulster County Executive Mike Hein takes the lead in safe school initiatives, including this week’s “No Name-Calling Week” activities designed to address bullying and name-calling of all kinds.  Today marks the second annual UlsterCounty anti-bullying webinar, and the HudsonValleyLGBTQCommunity Center is honored to continue our partnership in this important community education effort.”

According to Rob Conlon, “Participation in programs like GLSEN's No Name-Calling Week helps local schools in their implementation of the Dignity for All Student's Act, New York's historic anti-bullying legislation, by affording educators the opportunity to explore respect, understanding, and school safety with students. More and more it becomes clear that creating safe and respectful schools takes the collaboration of the whole community. The Ulster County Executive's Office and the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center are to be commended not only for their work on the anti-bullying webinar for schools, but also for leading the charge so that each and everyone of us in the Ulster County community step-up to make schools safe for all students.”

"Thank you to County Executive Hein and LGBTQ for educating our community about the effects of bullying," said Jessica Robie, Team Leader of Adolescent Services at Family of Woodstock, Inc. and an Anti-Bullying Webinar participant. "When it comes to bullying, neither the bully, who is often a kid in pain, or the bullied, another kid in pain, are gaining anything from the interaction.  It’s key that adults know how to intervene in a way that helps both kids get the support they need and addresses the root causes of bullying.  The webinar is intended to provide this useful information to our community."

"With the coming mandated DASA or Building Dignity Act, teachers need to be aware of their direct responsibility in identifying, preventing, and providing restorative justice in the area of bullying," said Amy White, a Bailey Middle School teacher and participant in the Anti-Bullying Webinar. "This webinar is a useful venue for providing teachers with the needed resources so that we can meet our responsibilities under this important law.  This is a tremendous responsibility for teachers and an exciting time for change."

“I think that the most effective way to stop bullying is when peers step in to stop it.  They are also known as bystanders,” said Cherelyn Volpert, a Bailey Middle School Guidance Counselor and Anti-Bullying Webinar participant.  “Some students feel nervous about approaching or confronting a bully.  There are several ways that a student can step in.  Some methods such as asking the bully to stop, telling the bully what they are doing or saying is mean or rude, or seeking out an adult for help can be difficult for some students.  Students can also help by stopping rumors, not participating in rumors, not getting caught up in negative things on Facebook/text messages/internet chat, being friendly or kind to someone they know is being bullied and/or picked on, and getting the victim out of the bullying situation.  If a student sees someone is being bullied, they can simply go over to the victim and get them out of the situation by telling them to come with them or telling them that they have to speak with them in private.” 

“MHA has been a proud collaborator in UlsterCounty’s No Name-Calling Week efforts.  Our work in this area aligns with our mission to support everyone in our community in attaining and maintaining optimal mental health,” said Ellen Pendegar, CEO, MHA in UlsterCounty.

 “No Name-Calling Week begins a movement,” said Michele Bertelle, Community Resource Coordinator, MHA in UlsterCounty and an Anti-Bullying Webinar participant.  “Attitudes of compassion, acceptance and kindness gain momentum, as we understand and change our culture on two levels: from person to person and from community to community.  Here in UlsterCounty we collaborate to build on this momentum, and to carry these attitudes far beyond just this week.”

“The ReadNex Poetry Squad is a group of performing artists that combine poetry, lyricism, breakdancing & "turntablism" into groundbreaking performances & workshops,” said Juan Carlos also known as “Latin Translator” a poet, educator, speaker, host and writer whose video will be played during the Anti-Bullying Webinar. “Their music and voices used as their means of expression on topics such as social injustice, environmentalism, unity, education and more flow into poetic calls for action. As they dare to "Be Dif'Rent" on and off stage they encourage audiences to do the same with phrases such as "It doesn't matter who you be, just be who you be". Considering their dedication to youth empowerment The ReadNex Poetry Squad stands by the No Name Calling Week/Anti Bullying campaign and encourages others to be themselves while accepting the differences of others.”

A list of resources for students, teachers and parents to address bullying in UlsterCounty is attached.