LOWER MANHATTAN, New York City (WABC) -- The New York Jets and the group STOMP Out Bullying honored the Manhattan Early College for Advertising Monday morning for its commitment to preventing bullying.
The event was in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month and World Day of Bullying Prevention and was presented by Bethpage Federal Credit Union.
Jets legend Tony Richardson honored educators for completion of the New York City Department of Education's Building Respect: RFA Conversation Skills online training simulations by sharing his story growing up in a military family, moving often and getting picked on.
"I remember kids looked at me because my jeans too tight or maybe my shoes too small, maybe my Afro," he said. "Now with social media, the pressures kids have, it's a very tough environment. One thing we want to do is talk to the kids about standing up against bullies....Parents need to communicate with your children. If you start seeing, 'I don't want to go to school,' or your kid sick. If your child comes home and says something thinking it might go away because it might not go away."
In 2018, the Jets along with STOMP Out Bullying and the New York City Department of Education announced details of an online training simulation for all public school educators during Respect for All (RFA) Week.
"We saved a lot of kids," STOMP Out founder Ross Ellis said. "We've helped over five million resolve bullying situations and saved over 6,000 lives."
The Jets contributed $200,000 to create the program, designed to enable New York City school communities to identify and address best practices in creating bias and bullying-free environments.
Throughout the school year, New York City Department of Education schools, educators and administrators are incentivized to complete the simulation.
Manhattan Early College for Advertising had the highest completion percentage for March.
"In the movies and TV shows, everybody is getting pushed in lockers," senior Laila Williams said. "Now somebody could glare at you and whisper to their friend also on social media. It's much different than it used to be."
Through the organization's collaboration with STOMP Out Bullying, the Jets and Bethpage Federal Credit Union have made available a Jets branded STOMP Out Bullying Educator's Prevention Toolkit at no cost to schools in the Tri-State Area, conducted their annual Jets Tackle Bullying Symposium, created awareness through a robust PSA campaign, and annually host an anti-bullying awareness day at MetLife Stadium on game day.
With the assistance of Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the Jets will expand the program throughout Long Island this school year.
To join the Jets Tackle Bullying Program, please register for a toolkit at nyjets.com/antibullying.
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Jets, STOMP Out Bullying honor Manhattan Early College for Advertising