“Buddy benches” help to combat bullying at Elmsford school

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ELMSFORD -

Students at a school in Elmsford have introduced a new way to combat bullying.

Three new “buddy benches” have been unveiled at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and represent a place where students can go sit to make new friends.

Eighth-grader Patrick Salgado wanted to bring the buddy benches to the Catholic school campus for his peers to never feel lonely.

The idea is if a student feels left out, he or she should sit down on the bench, then if another student sees someone sitting there, they can go over and chat with them. "Everyone has a right to have a friend and be in a group with friends, and me, myself, I've been lonely a lot of times and in previous schools this would have been so good," says Salgado.

The three benches have some positive sayings about friendship. "Everybody should have somebody to talk with if they're sad and play with and be happy with," says schoolmate Nicole Lalji.

Parents helped purchase the three benches, and students say they'll be on the lookout for any classmates who may be sitting there.

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