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BU student-athletes take part in Bullying Prevention Assembly

April 24, 2014

BU student-athletes take part in Bullying Prevention Assembly

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Contact: David O’Brian (dobrian@binghamton.edu)

VESTAL, N.Y. – On Wednesday afternoon, the Binghamton baseball and softball teams each won non-conference games against St. Bonaventure and Colgate respectively. On Thursday morning, however, they appeared on stage before students of nearby MacArthur Elementary School dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy.”

Their appearance, along with members of the Bearcat men’s basketball team, was part of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, which began in the area in 2011. Binghamton student-athletes have been participating in such events for the last two years.

The event began with brief talks by Binghamton Mayor Rich David and a handful of local law enforcement officers. Following a video, members of all three Binghamton teams joined the school staff and others on stage dancing to “Happy.”

Once the song ended, a representative from each of the three Bearcat teams spoke to the students.

“Please remember to always be happy and respectful to each other,” softball player Kim Santiago said. “We do this by not bullying and including all students. If we see someone being bullied we tell a grown up at the school and at home.”

“My message to you is that we feel good about ourselves when we treat our friends and our teammates nicely,” men’s basketball player Chris Rice said. “We don’t bully on the court, on the field or in school.”

“There are three rules,” baseball player Shaun McGraw said. “Treat each other with respect, use kind words and always include the others around you.”

Olweus is part of a larger effort, called Safe Healthy Attitudes Require Education (SHARE), started in 2009 by a coalition of Broome-Tioga BOCES, Binghamton University and Lourdes Youth Services. The program is funded by a $5.6 million federal grant, and provides counseling and youth mentors to schools.

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