Teaching kids to stand up
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The book has already been purchased by school districts all over Long Island and New York, Siris said, and has spread to districts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and has even made its way overseas to Europe.
The students in the book who band together form a Caring Majority — something that Siris created at Boardman to help combat bullying. It helps students go from bystanders, people who will just stand around and watch bullying happen, to upstanders — those who will speak out against it.
“I’m hoping that the children will realize the power that they have, even on their own,” Siris said. “And that they can band together and become allies to their peers. It’s our job as educators to give them the strategies to do that. Because we can’t just expect them to know how to do it. We can ask kids to stand up for other kids and speak up, but unless we give them the words and teach them how, it might be difficult.”