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Bullies beware: Miss New York talks tough about teasing

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Albany/HV: Bullies beware: Miss New York talks tough about teasing
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Bullying: We've all either experienced it at some point in our lives, as are kids right now in a Gloversville elementary school. As our Megan Cruz tells us, students there had a special visitor Tuesday who's helping them put an end to the teasing.

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. -- "It wasn't fun at all. Sometimes they sent me home crying."

Fifth grader Scott Zabawczuk says he's been the victim of bullying and so have his classmates.

"They were teasing me because I wasn't really a good basketball player then and every time I missed a hoop, they'd make fun of me," said Samantha Blowers.

"You're left out and not as powerful as the bully and the bully's just stepping on you and it hurts your feelings a lot," said Sierra Mauro.

Even Miss New York Kaitlin Monte knows that feeling. She says her and her siblings were bullied as well. That's why she's come to Park Terrace Elementary School in Gloversville.

"Students know about bullying and so we're here to give them some things they can do to make a difference in their own environment," said Monte.

"Like you can block the bully from your friends and not let them hurt your friends," said Blowers.

Principal Steven Pavone says the earlier, the better when it comes to talking about bullying.

"We're trying to teach them now that their personal interactions can be so meaningful or hurtful," said Pavone.

Especially, says Monte, with this generation, whose interactions can now hide behind a computer screen.

"These are kids who've grown up with technology and internet and with the age of cyberbullying, so it's a totally different experience for them to get bullied and it's much more harsh," she said.

The anti-bullying message doesn't stop with Ms. New York's visit. The principal says it's a permanent part of their learning experience here at the school, symbolized by a boulder in front of the building. Students signed it, pledging that they'll stand strong against bullies.

"You can tell a teacher or whoever's around and you can tell the bully to stop," said Zabawczuk.

"You should try to stop it, not just walk away. Because if you were getting bullied, you'd want someone to try to help you," said Mauro.

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