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Hundreds Turn Out for ADL's Screenings of Bully

Date: May 10, 2012

Hundreds of Omaha students, parents, and educators attended two screenings of the documentary Bully sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) last week at Aksarben Cinema.  Following each screening was the opportunity to discuss the film and talk about how to fight bullying locally.

The movie Bully has garnered national attention for its very real look at bullying in schools across the country.  The film follows five students and their families over the course of a school year and takes viewers along as they ride the school bus, go to class, eat in the cafeteria and even visit the principal’s office. 

As a national partner with the filmmaker, the ADL provided educational resources to aid in the outreach and promotion of film. 

When ADL Board Member Carol Bloch saw the film, she knew Bully needed to come to Omaha. “Providing anti-bullying programming is one of the many things that the ADL does extremely well in our region.  However, it is often said that, 'It takes a Village to Raise a Child' and this film, I believe, demonstrates that point exactly when it comes to bullying.” Bloch said. 
“We all need to educate ourselves and be aware of what is going on with 'our' children so that we can be prepared to do what we can to help the victims and potential victims of bullying.”

On Sunday, April 29th, with the support of generous local funders, the ADL offered free tickets for teens to a special screening of Bully.  Nearly 200 teens attended and each received a voucher for free soda and popcorn.  Nearly 100 adults also attended. 

Following the film, ADL Education Director Jessica Gall guided the students through a talk-back session with the assistance of Ashley Spessard, Program Director for RESPECT. “It was wonderful to see so many diverse students from all across Omaha come out for this event.  It really shows that bullying is a collective problem that requires everyone in our community to come together,” Gall said.

A second screening was held on Tuesday, May 1st.  More than 150 parents, educators, and youth turned out to see the film and participate in a panel discussion featuring local bullying experts Bret Anderson, Principal of OPS Wilson Focus School, Jessica Gall, ADL Education Director, Dr. Patricia Newman, Licensed Psychologist and Executive Director of RESPECT, and Kevin Riggert, Principal of Elkhorn Ridge Middle School.  The panel was moderated by Mel Clancy, Project Achieve Director at UNO and ADL Facilitator.

“Tuesday night was very much a community conversation about what role parents and school communities can play in addressing the bullying issue,” said Clancy.

To watch a trailer for the documentary, visit http://youtu.be/rjjeHeAzZZM.

For more information on the ADL and their programs to address bullying, please contact them at 402.333.1303 or email jgall@adl.org.

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