Student photographers in northwestern Nassau County are taking aim at bullying — with their cameras.

The Town of North Hempstead and Long Island Press are co-sponsoring an anti-hate photo contest in which elementary, middle or high school students capture images that address bullying. The theme, Not In Our Town, requires entries illustrate how participants stand up to hate in their community or school.

“The Not In Our Town initiative speaks right to the heart of how we feel here in North Hempstead about fighting hate and intolerance,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “In order to really effect change we need to get our young people involved.”

The anti-hate initiative is a follow up to a conference that the town held on the same topic this spring. The town’s goal is to build safe, inclusive communities for all.

“We are hoping that our North Hempstead students will be excited about expressing their views on this important issue, as they use photography to illustrate how they stand up to hate in their communities and schools,” Bosworth added.

“Bullying has become more rampant and widespread among our children — it occurs in our communities and in our schools — and the effects can be catastrophic and long term,” said Joanna Austin, associate publisher of the Long Island Press. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. With programs like NIOT, we can work together to open lines of communication and build safer environments for our children and their parents to learn and thrive.”

To enter, photos must be taken in North Hempstead. Digital photos should be 200 dpi resolution. Printed photos must be at least 8×10 inches. All entries must be received by Jan. 31, 2018. Categories are grades 1-6, 7-9 and 10-12.

Email digital photo entries to Photos@northhempsteadny.gov Include student’s name, school name and the contact information for a parent or guardian. Mail printed photos to: Town of North Hempstead, Not In Our Town Youth Photo Contest, 200 Plandome Rd., Manhasset, NY 11003.

Winning photos will be published in the March edition of the Long Island Press.

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