Local teacher stands up against bullying with pink fingernails

Posted at: 10/25/2013 5:40 PM
Updated at: 10/25/2013 5:53 PM
By: Dan Bazile

RAVENA -- For Mr. Richard Cintora, teaching is more than just a lesson for education. He also wants the students to take away life lessons.

"I got into teaching to make a difference in students' lives," Cintora said.

In his second year as a Social Studies teacher at Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Middle School, Cintora is already making his mark. And more recently, he decided to teach his class with his fingernails painted in pink.

"I got a lot of compliments saying hey I like your nails. I said so do I," he said.

It started when one of his 6th grade male student came to school with pink fingernails for breast cancer awareness month after a relative was diagnosed with cancer. The student was in school. We didn't want to identify him. Cintora heard he was being picked on and bullied for his pink fingernails.

"When I heard that, it kind of brought me back to when I was a kid," Cintora said. "As you can see I'm a big guy and I've always been a big person."

Mr. Cintora felt he had to do something to take a stand against bullying, support a student and a good cause at the same time.

"I went to the store and found the hottest pink that I could find. And had my wife paint my nails," he said.

For him, that was also a teachable moment, a lesson in life for his Social Studies class. He read them one of his favorite books. It's a children's book with a moral.

"That simply states sometimes it takes just one, just one person to stand up for someone else, to stand up for themselves," Cintora said.