Plattsburgh students get tips to identify bullying

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 5:54 PM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - The group Sweethearts & Heroes is making sure kids all around the world work together to prevent bullying. They’re visiting 11 schools in our area, including the Plattsburgh area.

“In order for something to be bullying -- number one -- It has to be mean, or scary. ‘Oh, oh, are you okay,’” explained Tom Murphy with Sweethearts & Heroes.

Murphy -- along with Rick Yarosh -- have traveled to hundreds of schools around the world to educate kids on what to do in situations of bullying. Murphy started the group’s HOPE series training. He says teaching children how to stop the cycle is needed now more than ever.

“We’ve already been to two schools this year where they lost young people the week before we got there. We’ve never been in such demand, which is, you know, it sounds great. ‘Oh great, you’re getting to see a lot of students.’ It also tells us that the need is greater than probably ever before,” Murphy said.

They teach kids from as young as pre-K all the way through high school. The Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital brought them to talk to kids at Oak and Glasgow Elementary Schools about what bullying looks like and what to do when you see it happening.

“You have to feel small and weak on the inside. It has to be scary and mean. Then it has to happen over and over again,” said Gregory Gommel, a Glasgow student.

“It’s not that nice because if people bully you, you get in a sad emotion. It makes you not feel that well,” said student Joeley Golden.

And they make sure kids know that if they’re struggling with bullying, it’s okay to tell a parent or a school counselor and get some help. Glasgow Principal Shasta Whitford says it’s a topic they try to educate their students on while they are young. “We are always looking for different ways to plant seeds with our young kids, to teach them about kindness and empower them to do the right thing, to be a good friend,” she said.

The group will also be holding a training at the Brushton-Moira Central School.