PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Respect and dignity are two words the fifth graders in the Steel Valley School District know well.

“Dignity and respect means to treat others how you want to be treated and being kind to other people and all that,” Lydia Alexandroff said.

The students took part in Global Dignity Day.

Through a video-conference, they connected with other kids from 20 schools in the area and also, students from a school in Northern Ireland.

“It’s very important that our students learn to treat each other with respect, treat their family members with respect as well as the community members and if we can all work together on that, we can build a nice strong school and a nice strong community,” Principal Kevin Walsh said.

KDKA-TV’s Ken Rice moderated the program and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch took part, sharing his own experiences about being bullied.

Batch is the national spokesman for the Dignity & Respect Campaign for Youth.

“A lot of them just think they are the only ones going through it and you hear people talk about it, but maybe they aren’t experiencing it and myself being bullied as a kid, I want to help share that message and let them know, hey I’ve been through that so I understand. So, I’m just trying to help you as I continue this process,” Batch said.

The kids talked a lot about a list of 30 tips of dignity and respect. They also signed a pledge to be kind.

“Inclusion means so much to a child. It means a lot to an adult too, but for a child they are still formative years and being able to speak and also accept someone that’s different than the way you look and the way that you act, it’s so important,” Winifred Torbert with the UPMC Center For Inclusion & Engagement said.


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