Tag Archives: anti-bullying

Flushing school combats bullying through martial arts


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Chris Bumbaca

CHRIS BUMBACA

As schools nationwide implement anti-bullying tactics, the Veritas Academy in Flushing is combating bullying in an innovative and unique way.

While most schools lecture their students about bullying, the Veritas Academy has started a new way to repel bullying in school: taekwondo.

A moving-up ceremony was held Monday afternoon in the school’s auditorium for students who participated in a Korean elective class, in which taekwondo was held three times a week after school as a supplement to the class. Most students graduated from a yellow belt to an orange belt, while a handful ascended from a white belt to a yellow belt.

The class emphasized Korean heritage and tradition, and as much as the presentation was part of the anti-bullying campaign, it was also a celebration of Korean culture.

The ceremony included a showcase of an early childhood bullying-prevention performing arts program performed by the Korean Traditional Dance and Music Team. The musicians and dancers taught kids about the signs of bullying through an engaging performance filled with music and emotion. The dance, integrated with taekwondo moves, told a story about a girl being bullied by her peers and how she was able to overcome the obstacle through self-fortitude and the help of others.

“If students are educated and feel good about themselves and have self-esteem they won’t feel the need to bully,” founding principal Cheryl Quatrano said. “They’ll know what to do about it and help other students that are being bullied.”

Aside from the self-defense aspect of taekwondo, there is a large mental facet of the art. Regina Im, the executive director of “Korea Taekwondo,” the taekwondo school that taught the program at Veritas, stressed the importance of self-change to her students and the crowd.

She asked the children questions that correlated with the five main principles of taekwondo: respect, humility, perseverance, self-control and honesty, which are all traits essential in the battle against bullying.

“Are we able to change others?” Im asked. “Are we able to change ourselves?”

 

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Douglaston school walks against bullying


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Students from the Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy School embarked on their first “Stamp Out Bullying Walkathon” on Friday in an effort to remind themselves and the community about the damaging effects of students picking on each other.

“This walk is meant to stomp out bullying,” eighth-grader Lena Vella said. “It’s meant to teach people how to take action.”

The trek from the school on Northern Boulevard to a ballpark on Cloverdale Boulevard was made by 250 students, Prinicipal Michael Laforgia and several teachers. A new student-run program in the school called the Pope Francis Society hosted the event. Once students made it to the ballpark, a selected group of kids read essays on bullying to their classmates. A group of students from Divine Wisdom’s other campus in Bayside also held a walkathon and the two converged on the ball park. Most of the students wore orange shirts, the color of their cause.

Laforgia became principal of the pre-K-8 Catholic school four years ago, and students, teachers and parents credit him with making the students more aware of bullying.

“These kids don’t walk into the school with a halo,” Laforgia said. “So we have to be very active in preventing bullying. I hope in the quiet of their day they’ll take a moment to reflect on this.”

Lena and three other classmates volunteered to write their own essays for the event. They are all part of the Pope Francis Society, which is made up of about 40 students who meet together once a week with Laforgia and teachers. Most importantly, Lena said, they’re given the task of keeping an eye out for bullying in school, acting as hall-monitors against aggressive behavior.

“I hate that so many people just watch when others are picked on,” said Laura Toscano, Lena’s classmate. “We’re trying to get people to be friendly.”

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Fresh Meadows middle school will walk to stop bullying


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 
One Queens middle school is taking a stand against bullying with a walk-a-thon.

J.H.S. 216 George J. Ryan in Fresh Meadows is hosting its “Respect For All” walk-a-thon on Tuesday, May 13, on the school’s track, to celebrate diversity and discourage bullying.

“We are trying to get kids to stop name-calling, and do whatever we can to get this building the way it should be,” said Hal Fuchs, an academic coordinator in the school. “And something like this we feel could do that. It’s about respect. We want kids to have respect for each other.”

Three students from each homeroom, approximately 150 kids, will represent the school’s 1,400 students in the event. From 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. the participating students will lap the track four times, which is the equivalent of one mile, Fuchs said.

The New York Mets have donated tickets to the upcoming game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 21 for kids who take part in the walk-a-thon.

The school is also selling 800 “Respect For All” bracelets for $1 each. The proceeds from the event will be donated to an anti-bullying charity to be named.

Photo courtesy J.H.S. 216 

 

 

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Students rally against bullying at P.S. 11


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer

The students of P.S. 11 are urging kids across the city to “give peace a chance.”

Parents, faculty and all 1,300 children from the school, located at 54-25 Skillman Avenue

in Woodside, united on November 22 for a peace march and anti-violence rally.

The parade was in protest to the increase in bullying and violence that has become a perpetual problem plaguing schools. Students carried hand-made signs and photos and chanted cheers calling for peace.

During the event, the mothers of two P.S. 11 alumni, both of whom lost their lives to violence, were acknowledged.

“There is a wave of bullying and violence across the city, and two of our alumni were killed due to violence,” said Anna Efkarpides, principal of P.S. 11. “We have been talking about making the future of Sunnyside and Woodside safer for our children. The march was a combination of the students wanting to express themselves and in memory of the two alumni. We wanted to have it around Thanksgiving, a time when everyone is thankful and hopeful for a better and more peaceful tomorrow.”

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who is an advocate of anti-bullying and anti-violence initiatives, also attended the march.

“It is important to remember and be thankful for the men, women and children who have said no to violence and spoken out in favor of peace,” said Van Bramer. “The students that marched here today are our future. Their message of love and peace takes us toward a better tomorrow. I will continue to do all I can to promote and support anti-violence and anti-bullying initiatives.”