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Sand Creek tells bullies to Zip-It

Teachers at middle school hope students treat new campaign as an oath

— Bullying has been a popular issue to tackle in many schools around the country, and Jill Penn is helping Sand Creek Middle School take the effort a little further by joining the Zip-It campaign.

The campaign is organized by Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course and has partners with members of the media such as WTEN and Fly 92.3 and has also partnered up with Stewarts Shops. Penn, a teacher at Sand Creek, said the program is basically a pledge taken by parents, students and teachers to help prevent bullying in their schools.

“It’s a visible reminder to a commitment to zipping our mouths if we don’t have anything nice to say,” Penn said. “It’s just getting the word out but it’s how kids can make that commitment and follow through.”

Several students have offered to lend their creative talents to the campaign in the school, Penn said. One seventh-grader offered to design a drawing for a drawstring bag that will be handed out at the school. It will feature the words “Zip-It” with the words looking like they are made out of a zipper.

The South Colonie Central School District has started focusing on the anti-bullying issue. At least once a month, classes are be delayed 25 minutes in the morning to discuss with students what they would like to do on the topic of anti-bullying.

The idea to get involved in the Zip-It campaign was first brought up by math teacher Chis Balkwell. She had heard about the campaign on Fly 92.3 a few times and felt it would be a good idea to bring it up to Penn. It was then put to the students.

“I asked the kids during our meeting, ‘Is this something you think you can do?’ and they all said ‘Absolutely, I think we can do that,’” Balkwell said. “Why? Because we’re already doing it. The school is trying to get rid of bullying and hopefully the kids can do it.”

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