anti-bullying

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Transgender students in New York continue to face harassment and discrimination at school, according to a recent report from the New York Civil Liberties Union. That’s despite a five-year-old anti-bullying law called the Dignity for All Students act, or DASA.

The law bans discrimination based on a whole list of characteristics, including race, religion, gender and gender identity. But when it passed in 2010, the social climate was different.

Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic, schools across Upstate New York are dealing more and more with school violence.

SUNY Upstate Medical University forensic psychiatrist James Knoll says if a person asks anyone about school violence, they'll answer Columbine or Newtown, Conn.

"Most of the lay public's attention gets focused on the rare, but sensational acts of school violence like school shootings," Knoll said. "But I think it's the more common everyday violence, physical and mental abuse, and bullying... where our efforts are best spent."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Educators and parents can always use advice on how to deal with bullies. A conference on bullying in Syracuse this week brought in a national expert on the issue, Barb Colorosa, who offered some clear strategies on how to identify bullying, as well as how to deal with it.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Students from the Southside Academy Charter School in Syracuse marched around the neighborhood this morning to make a statement that bullying won't be tolerated in their school.

As students settle into the new school year, the first phase of a new statewide anti-bullying law is already in place. More children will now be protected, and more will be required of school districts.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an anti-cyber bullying bill into law Monday. It requires schools to be more vigilant about cyber bullying of students, and to take steps to prevent it.