Bullying isn't just one of grade school's unpleasantries, Glen Cove Police Community Resource Officer Sonny Bifone told Finley Middle School students last week. It leaves its young victims with scars they carry into adulthood, and is capable of driving some to end their lives rather than continue that suffering.
Bifone and Charmaine Clark, mentoring director at the Glen Cove Youth Bureau, held a two-day workshop Feb. 7 and 8 to educate students about the dire real-life consequences of bullying. The kids saw emotional news videos and other clips of real victims, including some who suffered cyberbullying.
“Seeing real-life experience of other kids going through the same bullying issues puts them in the situation where they can put themselves in their shoes and see that it is quite possible that this could be happening in their own school,” Bifone said. “We have to find a way to stop it.”
Students were told how to react if they are made victims or witness someone else being victimized.
Clark said proactive steps are necessary because bullying is happening, especially during the middle school years.
“This is one of the driving forces behind us actually doing this program,” she said.