“Don’t stand by…       be an ally.”

That’s the message 90 youth wanted to convey at last Friday’s Bullying Awareness March. This is the 3rd consecutive year the kids have organized this march to bring awareness to the issue of bullying and to bring about change. The youth ranged in age from kindergarteners to youth leaders such as Ballston Spa High School’s NCBI students and CAPTAIN’s Teen Talk volunteers.

These kids have witnessed bullying, many indicated they’ve been bullied… but they’ve also learned about why bulling happens and how they can prevent it or intervene. They talked with community leaders: District Attorney James Murphy III, Ballston Spa School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Dragone, Ballston Spa Mayor  John Romano, and Milton  Supervisor Dan Lewza.  The kids asked pointed questions of our community leaders… on occasion rendering them momentarily speechless as they contemplated the question. The leaders very quickly built a bridge showing the kids they understood the impact of bullying– sometimes telling their own stories of being bullied when they were young and talking candidly about how that affected them. 

NCBI students work to promote respect at school.

Clearly, Allies can be any age, any size. We’re all united by an understanding of how much bullying affects all our youth and a the desire and motivation to end bullying now.