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No Bullying at Beekman

Authored By: 
James Vescovi, English teacher

Sadly, bullying is on the minds of many parents and students, and why not?  Clannish and mean-spirited behavior isn’t just a product of face-to-face interaction, but also raises its ugly head in cyberspace. The anonymity of the Internet has allowed cowards to make nasty comments about students they don’t like. Recently, newspapers have reported on a 13-year-old girl who jumped to her death in Florida after being hazed and tormented by fellow students, ages 14 and 12.

Like most high schools, Beekman takes bullying seriously. However, Beekman’s unique character and mission address the bullying problem like few schools can. Because the school operates on a rolling admissions basis, many Beekman students know what it’s like to be “the new kid in class.” That experience creates a kind of empathy in our student body.  If you, who arrived in November, were warmly welcomed, wouldn’t you do the same for a student who enrolls three months after you?

In addition, Beekman’s small class size of no more than 10 keeps new students from being lost in the crowd, where bullying can dodge the notice of even the most alert teachers and administrators.

Students must feel safe if they are to harness their energies towards learning and the building of friendships, instead of fretting about when the next vicious attack will come.  Students bullied for everything from not being “cool” to sexual identity have found refuge at Beekman. While all schools strive for community spirit, The Beekman School’s distinctive place among New York City high schools makes bullying that much more difficult to get away with.