Bullying prevention forum and free community film screening of "Bully"

Lee Hirsch documentary with post-viewing discussion facilitated by bullying prevention experts May 15, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in Harrisburg

May 14, 2014, 15:13 ET from Center for Safe Schools

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Safe Schools and the Highmark Foundation, together with WITF, will present a community forum and free screening of the documentary film "Bully" to promote awareness about bullying issues. The event will take place Thursday, May 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at WITF Public Media Center, 4801 Lindle Road in Harrisburg.

Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, "Bully" brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched kids and their families.

Thursday's event is one of ten funded by the Highmark Foundation and aimed to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, families, teachers and all who work with youth. The Center for Safe Schools bullying prevention experts will lead the post-viewing discussion, offering additional insights and solutions. Experts will be available to speak privately with families in need of assistance.

Health issues experienced by children involved in bullying – whether participating in, being targeted by or witnessing bullying behaviors – are significant. Headaches, stomachaches and sleep problems are only a few of the physical and/or psychosomatic symptoms faced by some children.

Through Highmark Foundation funding, nearly 400 schools and approximately 210,000 students in Pennsylvania have had access to research-based bullying prevention programs. These community film events are a continuation of the Highmark Foundation's bullying prevention efforts and commitment to improve the health and well-being of Pennsylvania's youth.

Academically, bullying takes a toll. It is widely believed that more than 160,000 students miss school every day due to fear of being bullied, and research has shown that children who are excluded from the peer group in early grades are at greater risk of academic difficulties.

"Now more than at any other time, a coordinated effort that integrates school, public health, political and social levers to address bullying is critical," said Lynn Cromley, Center for Safe Schools director. "These film events are valuable tools the Center for Safe Schools, the Highmark Foundation and other partners can use to assist schools, teachers, parents and communities in addressing this important issue that includes and affects so many; whether victims, perpetrators or silent bystanders."

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. To reserve seats online or for more information, go to http://www.SafeSchools.info; walk-ins will be admitted as space allows.

Contact: Aylissa Kiely

SOURCE Center for Safe Schools