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It’s an anti-bullying campaign making waves across the country, including in the Hudson Valley. This Halloween, the campaign is driving home the message that monsters belong in haunted houses and not in our classrooms. As the program hits area schools, YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has more on how it's impacting kids, teens and adults.
ACCORD, N.Y. -- Every seven seconds, someone is getting bullied.
“Students, these are things that they do want to talk about, there things they’re concerned about, they deal with them on a daily basis,” said Rondout Valley Junior High Principal Charles Tadduni.
To provide an open platform to strike up the conversation, monsters led the way. They left the haunted houses at the Headless Horseman for the day to visit schools in the hopes of making a lasting impression amongst students.
“When I feel like I'm in somebody's shoes, I can kind of feel how they feel and their feelings too,” said eighth grader Izayiah Moore. “So when I think of empathy and somebody's getting bullied, I feel sad for them, I feel sorry for them."
It was all about making students at Rondout Valley Middle School think twice about bullying and how it affects those who experience the pain. Pain that’s felt by 284,000 students each day in the United States.
“October is the anti-bullying month, but as we all know, the problem doesn’t go away November 1st,” said Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses Owner Michael Jubie. “The message is to get help, go to your staff in your schools, teachers, principals, classmates.”
“Don’t Be a Monster” is sponsored by six large Halloween attractions, including the Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses, having reached over 2,000 students nationwide with a portion of the proceeds from Headless Horseman going directly to the cause.
“We have some fun and we do magic in it, but there are certain parts that you can really tell that they're taking it in,” said Professional Illusionist Ryan Dutcher.
It was all in an effort to keep the bullying in the hands of the Headless Horseman monsters and out of the hands of the youth.