The Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre will host a screening and panel discussion on a film about bullying on Monday, Dec. 10.
The film, titled Bully and directed by Lee Hirsch, will be shown at the Empire Theatres Kanata (formerly the AMC Kanata 24), followed by a panel discussion on the issue of bullying. Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley will be master of ceremonies for the event.
“It’s part of our strategy to prevent bullying in our community,” said Cathy Jordan, executive director of the resource centre. “We’re certainly aware this is an issue in our community. Jamie Hubley’s death brought that to the forefront last year.”
Jamie, the son of the Kanata South councillor, took his own life last year after being bullied for his sexual orientation, which led to a deep depression he couldn’t overcome.
Bully is a documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America. According to the film trailer, more than five million American kids will be bullied this year “at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cellphones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience.”
Jordan saw a preview of the film last year.
“It’s extremely powerful. It really speaks to the issue, the complexity of the issue and the impact it has on everyone,” she said. “Having this film is an opportunity to reach out to people in the community and raise awareness … engage the community to do what we can to end bullying in our community.”
Panelists include representatives from the social service, education, judiciary, and mental health sectors, as well as a youth who has experienced bullying.
* Angela Lorusso: children’s community developer, Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre.
* Const. Carrie Archibald: school resource officer, Ottawa police.
* Gab: a youth who has been bullied.
* Monica Garvie: vice-principal, Roch Carrier Elementary School.
* Dr. Neil Gottheil: clinical psychologist, CHEO, and clinical director, Turning Corners Psychological Services.
“We have an amazing panel of people who will be able to speak more to the issue and have a conversation,” said Jordan.
The resource centre is running a bullying prevention program within schools in Kanata, Goulbourn and West Carleton. Last year, the program had 9,525 participants.
“It’s an initiative that involves the teachers, the students and the parents to have a better understanding of bullying and how to stop it,” said Jordan. “It’s very much about school culture and promoting the schools to take a stand against bullying.”
The film will be screened at 6 p.m., with a reception that begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are free but advance registration is required. A light supper will be provided and assistance with transportation and child care is available. For details and to register, visit wocrc.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.