Youth Bureau, District Attorney and Department of Mental Health partner to address school safety and bullying

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  • Photo provided by the Office of the Orange County Executive Beginning in the back row, from left to right, are: Jeremy Williams, Washingtonville High School, Michael Bark, Orange County Youth Bureau; Janeen Cunningham, Putnam County Youth Bureau; Tiffany Niles, Orange County Youth Bureau; Dawn Lindberg, Cornwall High School; April McDowell, Cornwall High School; and Maryalice Lee-Bout; Monroe-Woodbury High School; and in front: Rich Lepere, Washingtonville High School; and John Linney; Safe School Ambassadors Senior Trainer.

GOSHEN — The Orange County Youth Bureau recently hosted a two-day Safe School Ambassadors/SSA Training-of-Trainers with teachers and school counselors from Washingtonville, Monroe-Woodbury, Cornwall High Schools and the Putnam County Youth Bureau.

Safe School Ambassadors is a training program that empowers students to prevent and stop bullying and violence.

“Our children are our future,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said. “It’s part of our jobs as public officials, educators, and parents to help ensure that our children grow up to respect the rights of others. The Safe School Ambassadors Program will help to change the environment in our schools, so that incidents of bullying and other inappropriate behavior are reduced. Through the program, we can begin to create a generation of young people who treat others with kindness, dignity, and respect.”

Funding for this training was provided by the Orange County Department of Mental Health, Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Youth Bureau with funding from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services paid through the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region.

As a result of this partnership, the Youth Bureau will be offering yearly expansion and refresher trainings to additional area schools that adopt the Safe School Ambassador program.

The Youth Bureau looks forward to working with all of the school districts in Orange County who are interested in welcoming the Safe School Ambassadors program to their middle and high schools.

“It is exciting to see the great partnership between Orange County departments and school districts to effectively use local and state funding to empower youth to be change agents in their schools,” Orange County Youth Bureau Director Rachel Wilson said. “By working collaboratively and pooling both our financial and staffing resources, we will now have a more self-sustainable training model for our County."

Essential information• For more information about these and other programs, visit www.OrangeCountyGov.Com/YouthBureau, or call the Youth Bureau at 845-615-3620.

• For more information about Safe School Ambassadors, visit

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