Balmville Students Learn How to Combat Bullying Thanks to “Helping Drew”



     Students from Balmville Communications and Media Center in Newburgh recently joined Principal Tector and students Drew, Lee and Victoria from the Puppet Elementary Public School for a special lesson on the impact bullying has in the classroom and on the lives of those involved. Balmville students helped Principal Tector solve the bullying problem and vowed to protect their fellow classmates from bullying and name-calling.

     David Manley, of Up in Arms, is the man behind the puppet for the endearing musical production. A life-long hobby puppeteer, Manley lost his job a few years ago and his path led him back to his passion for puppetry. A victim of bullying in school, Manley worked with other talented colleagues to design a performance for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to be used in schools to help combat the issue of bullying.

     “As I have come full circle back to the passion of puppetry which helped me when I was young, I'm so excited to have this opportunity to not only bring puppetry to schools, but also make kids more aware of the topic of bullying,” explained Manley.

     The performance is making a name for itself in the Hudson Valley and comes on the heels of the New York State Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) that was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and went into effect on July 1, 2012. The Dignity Act seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

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