Treat others as you want to be treated.
It's at the core of bullying prevention programs in the Altoona Area school district
Maureen Calendra teaches students compassion and empathy for each other begins early. She recalls her students telling her, "Mrs Calandra, we've learned this. To treat each other the way we want to be treated in Kindergarten, and I said I know but we're still repeating it because it's so important. You'll repeat that the rest of your life."
Calandra adds, "It's an effort to make our school community that is a safe environment for our students to learn."
Altoona started their "Bully-Free classroom models in 2002 - long before it was mandated by the state. They change the lesson plans based on the greatest needs.
As Calandra says, "Each year we're building on the success of the previous year. We try to take a temperature on the climate of each and every elementary school as well as the junior high and the senior high. How do you deal with conflict? How do you develop better communication skills?How do you resolve your conflict?"
It involves classroom instruction, mentoring and peer mediation - where kids work together to resolve conflicts.
The majority of students are "bystanders" who watch bullying happen and do nothing.
Calandra says they've put steps in place for those kids to step up.
"Go and get some help. Find a teacher, find a trusted adult. We don't always ask them to get involved because that can be dangerous of course - but if they back away and get some help for that student , it provides a lot of support for them."
And for Calandra, bullying has and will continue to be a societal concern. "It's a reality and a fact of life that we've dealt with maybe not to the severity of what's going on today, but we all have to learn to communicate, to help each other and live by the Golden Rule."