On the last day of school before summer break, 250 students of  P.S. 284 Gregory Jackson School in Brownsville participated in a “Stop the Violence and Bullying” bike rally, taking their message of peace and non-violence to the streets of their neighborhood.

Officers of PSA 2 gave a helping hand with prepping bikes and keeping the streets safe for the kids to ride their bikes.

The anti-bullying rally was initiated by Detective Walter “Wally” Brant of Police Service Area 2 (PSA2) in partnership with Keva Pitts, the principal of P.S. 284, and Giavanni Barnett, the school’s community liaison. As part of the campaign, which launched last year, the students were asked to write essays on the subject of anti-bullying and non-violence for a chance to win a bike and to participate in the bike rally. Little did they know that were all chosen to participate — and they all would get to keep the bikes!

“It’s about seeing the joy in the faces of the kids,” said Brant. “But it’s also about breaking the barrier between the police and the community. I feel by breaking the barrier with the children, as they get older, they can see that cops and police are not all the same, and that we’re not all bad.”

Ms. “G” Giavanni Barnett (left), community liaison for P.S. 284, and Detective Walter “Wally” Brant (right)

And because safety always comes first, all students were equipped with free helmets provided by the NYC Department of Transportation and its Vision Zero initiative, a program that is dedicated to reducing injuries and fatalities in street traffic, before hitting the road.

It was a great day for the community. Take a look at our video story.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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  1. It’s so refreshing to see young people concerned about others. It gives us hope for the future!
    Even though they may not have as much life experience as others, they’re observant enough to recognize there is a problem with bullying. One tool that can help young people be aware of potential bullies and abusers is the popular book by Josette Sona called “Are Men the Weaker Sex?”. It lists personality traits to look for, especially in significant people in our lives, and it gives pointers on how to deal with them.
    Understanding why bullies and abusers act the way they do can help us co-exist with them, possibly even help to change them.

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