'Bully' Movie Screening Hosted By Teachers Unions Stresses Need To Focus On Classroom

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, April 12, 2012

The heads of the nation's two largest teachers' unions stressed Tuesday night the need for government leaders to continue to focus on bullying prevention in an era of school funding shortages.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, co-hosted a screening of the new documentary, "Bully," and used the event to continue a call for bullying prevention. Among the steps discussed during the event were providing a classroom environment conducive to civility, alerting students to adults whom they could trust to discuss bullying and peer leadership initiatives.

"You can't be against bullying without actually doing something about it," Weingarten told HuffPost during a press availability prior to the screening. "At the end of the day, we need to take concise, tangible steps."

Weingarten said that educators need to avoid cutting funds for guidance counselors and others who work to prevent bullying in order to make up budget cuts, while also continuing to enhance classroom environments. Weingarten said that while state and local education leaders have stressed the need for bullying prevention, they need to do more than talk about the issue.

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