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Gov. David Paterson: It Gets Better

Gov. David Paterson: It Gets Better


New York governor David Paterson reflects on his experience with bullying in school to assure young people, "It gets better."

In the video, Paterson, who is legally blind, talks about having been the only visually impaired and sometimes the only African-American student at his public schools. He says that he suffered bullying from kindergarten through high school as a result of being different.

"On one occasion, I got so frustrated with the teachers and the people running the playgrounds, or whoever they were, not doing anything about it, that I hit a kid in the face with a lunchbox," says Paterson, known to New Yorkers for his sense of humor. "And you know something? Even 40 years later, I'm not sorry."

As governor, this year Paterson signed the Dignity for All Students Act, an antibullying law that is the first trans-inclusive measure to be passed and signed into law in New York State.

Paterson may be the highest-ranking African-American elected official yet to record a video for the "It Gets Better" series. His term expires at the end of this year.

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