Updated 10/02/2012 09:59 PM
School districts tackle bullying with special guest
From Elmira to Horseheads, schools across the Southern Tier are tackling the issue of bullying and they've brought in a special guest to help them along the way. Our Katie Husband visited Elmira Free Academy Tuesday and has more on a message students aren't soon to forget.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Renowned speaker Jay Banks has a way of getting through to audiences. The lesson Tuesday was as simple as an acronym: 'I Am Unafraid.'
"'A' in afraid is, avoid bullies. The 'f' is find a friend. The 'r' is report bullying and the last 'a' is act confident. And if you avoid bullies, find a friend and report bullying, you're already learning how to act confident," said Jay Banks, Jay Banks Production executive director.
The power of the preach, he believes, will help these young minds grow as individuals.
"It's going to do nothing but serve them well, it's going to give them power over bullies and bullying situations. They don't have to be victims anymore and they don't have to because we have the power," said Banks.
Banks does these presentations nationwide and when his kids are laughing, he knows he's done his job.
"My mantra is this, if kids laugh, they listen, if they listen, they learn. Obviously, in the public forum afterwards, they're saying 'hey that was funny, that was great.' But I know if they were laughing they had to listen to get to the laughter and I believe if they listen, they learn," said Banks.
School officials are hoping the lessons from this presentation will reach the classrooms.
"We have to build a skill set with kids to be able to communicate more often and communicate more frequently with any adult in the school so we know what's going on," said Joe Hochreiter, Elmira City School District superintendent.
During this month of anti-bullying awareness, just remember, I am unafraid.