BC fights bullying with music

District organizes concert, distributes tickets for good behavior

— Bethlehem High School students are taking a stand against bullying, and being rewarded for their efforts.

Principal Scott Landry said far too often, anti-bullying education is negative and makes students feel badly about school interactions. For a different spin, the school is holding a discussion and concert that certain students will be able to attend for free if they are seen exhibiting model behavior in school.

“The Dignity for All legislation is omnipresent with a lot of things we have to do ... and the guest speakers come in and too often we are just wagging our fingers at the students and telling them what they are doing wrong,” said Landry. “Not to minimize what the guest speakers do, but we have a really good school and students here, so we wanted something different.”

The Dignity for All Students legislation was passed by the state in September of 2010 and went into effect in July. The law is meant to encourage tolerance and respect in schools and prevent bullying.

Each member of the BC High Student Senate was given four tickets to pass out to students who they see exhibiting good behavior. The school’s faculty was also given tickets to hand out.

U2 cover band Unforgettable Fire will be playing the concert, along with local indie band Stellar Young, formerly known as The City Never Sleeps. Students can pay to attend and several hundred tickets are being reserved for the community to purchase.

The concert is being sponsored as a partnership between the district and the Student Senate, with all promotional material created by the high school’s graphic design classes. Two other similar concerts have been put together by Landry. The proceeds from the first went to American Diabetes Association and the Japanese Red Cross, after a tsunami hit Japan in 2011. The second was held last year, with the proceeds going to the Schoharie Flood Relief Fund in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

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