Suffolk County Police Department Officer George Lynagh paid a visit to Babylon Memorial Grade School this week to teach students an important anti-bullying lesson.
    
Officer Lynagh, who works with the Suffolk County Police Department’s Community Outreach Bureau, wanted the students to remember that since there are many different types of bullying – including emotional, verbal and physical – it's important to watch for the early signs of it. Lynagh’s lesson came at a crucial time, as student bullying is one of the most frequently reported discipline problems in schools across the country. According to a recent report from the National Education Association, 21 percent of elementary schools, 43 percent of middle schools and 22 percent of high schools reported problems with bullying over the past decade. Due to Lynagh’s fantastic school outreach efforts, Babylon is addressing the national trend when it comes to bullying.
    
"We teach from a police officer’s point of view, and we talk a lot about consequences, both of bullying and Internet use,” Lynagh said. "It's a school resource officer program. It reaches from the elementary school all the way up to the high school level.”
    
Babylon Memorial Grade School Principal Randee Bonagura makes it a point to invite Lynagh back to the school each year, and she is extremely pleased with the difference his message brings. Thanks to Officer Lynagh, Babylon’s grade school students have learned it’s always better to be a buddy rather than a bully. Lynagh’s visits reinforce the school-community partnership as an extension of the district’s character education program.