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Southampton councilwoman attempts to fight bullying

Christine Preston Scalera, poses for a portrait as

Christine Preston Scalera, poses for a portrait as GOP candidate for Town Council of Southampton. (Aug. 7, 2011) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Southampton Town will join schools and towns across the country in recognizing October as National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month with a monthlong series of events at its three community centers.

Councilwoman Christine Scalera is organizing the events, which have role-playing, talks with bullying victims, and help for parents on the agendas.

The events will take place at Oct. 17 at the Bridgehampton Community Center, Oct. 24 at the Hampton Bays Community Center, and Oct. 30 at the David Crohan Community Center in Flanders. Each event starts at 7 p.m.

The programs will reflect the state’s new Dignity for All Students Act, which mandates that schools collect and report any incidents of harassment and discrimination, as well as educational components.

“I have heard from many parents whose children have been the subject of bullying,” Scalera said. “The harm can be life-changing for the child or young adult, and a terrible source of anxiety and stress for the entire family.”

A Southampton Youth Bureau survey last year found 21 percent of teens reported they had been bullied or harassed in the past year, according to Scalera’s resolution to hold the events.

The town board unanimously approved the resolution Tuesday.

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