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Grandma offers ways to handle bullies

Any student bullies identified in the city school system should be rounded up "and all sent to one school where they could beat up each other and leave innocent students alone," a grandmother told the School Board on Thursday.

Candy Rieker said her grandson, whose name was withheld, was harassed by bullies at Hyde Park Elementary School to the extent that he was sometimes reluctant to go to school.

"There should be more police in the schools, and the police should step in when there is bullying," she said.

"They could put the bullies in a police car and head for the police station, making them think they were going to be arrested. They could drive around and then bring the bullies back to school. That would scare some of them enough to change their behavior."

Rieker also suggested that building principals and vice principals should be given more staff to help them deal with bullies.

She spoke during a public participation portion of the meeting, and there was nothing on the board's agenda about bullying.

In other business:

*The board issued diplomas to 31 students who successfully completed summer school. "You always will be known as 2011 graduates of Niagara Falls High School," Superintendent Cynthia A. Bianco told them.

*Charles Learn, who enlisted in the military service at age 17, served for nearly four years on active duty in the U.S. Army, is a veteran of the Korean War and rose to the rank of major in the National Guard, was awarded the diploma he earned more than 60 years ago but had not yet received. Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston, gave him a citation from the Assembly and said, "Thank you for your service."

*Students representing 79th Street Elementary School were given certificates recognizing their commitment to respect. District spokeswoman Judie Gregory said the students showed special "kindness and respect." The district is emphasizing a different character trait each month and is honoring individual schools for their demonstration of those traits.

*Nick Dalacu, founder and president of the Niagara Science Museum in the original National Carbon Co. building, suggested that the school district join with the museum "to make science classes more fun, more popular and more sustainable." School administrators said they would consider his suggestion.