'Bully' movie triggers a valuable dialogue, but shows the need for more training, says expert

April 4, 2012

The new documentary "Bully" starts a valuable conversation about bullying, but illustrates how many schools lack adequate training to cope with this all-too-common problem, according to the director of the University at Buffalo's Jean M. Alberti Center for the Prevention of Bullying Abuse and School Violence.

"'Bully' is a powerful documentary," says Amanda B. Nickerson, PhD, associate professor in UB's Graduate of Education. "This film is going to start or continue a conversation in all of our communities about bullying."

Following her appointment last year as the first director of UB's Alberti Center, Nickerson has been a frequent national spokeswoman on the topic of bullying.

"Although the film presents some hope for how we can make change, the school staff profiled in the film do not have the training and resources necessary to help them create positive outcomes," she says.

Nickerson, an expert consultant for Education.com, participated on a panel for a town hall meeting at the National Association of Elementary School Principals conference in Seattle on March 22. After viewing the film's trailer, panel members said the movie presented "an opportunity to engage in conversation about how the entire community can work together to create a culture of , respect and inclusion in the schools, and to respond consistently and effectively when incidents occur."

The movie, which debuted March 31, is scheduled to premier in Buffalo Friday, April 20. Several groups at UB, including representatives from Wellness Education Services, UB Honors College, Amnesty International and UB's LGBT community, plan to screen the film Sunday, April 22.

Nickerson says she is pleased that many news stories about the film have listed resources available to assist schools, parents and communities: bit.ly/HaG9V8

Explore further: Don't walk alone: A bullying prevention primer

More information: Helpful resources suggested by Nickerson include:

Stopbullying.gov, www.stopbullying.gov

Education.com, www.education.com/topic/school-bullying-teasing

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