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'BAND Against Bullying' competition returns to UB, sending abuse-prevention and 'dignity for all' messages

by jmaloni


Tue, Feb 25th 2014 12:20 pm

Seven local high schools will compete in music and arts competition in UB's Center for the Arts

Students from seven area high schools will use their musical and artistic skills to send an anti-bullying message during the second "BAND Against Bullying" school competition to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in "the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.

The event, sponsored by UB's Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, M&T Bank and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children/New York/Buffalo Office, is an inter-school music and arts competition related to the theme of dignity for all students. Students from seven local high schools have developed themed performances to raise community awareness of bullying-related issues and to raise support for anti-bullying education efforts.

One act chosen from each of the participating schools will perform in UB's Center for the Arts, mixing information on bullying awareness with artistic talent, and sharing their visual projects or musical performances with students from other schools. Last year's event attracted hundreds of students from area schools who wanted to perform their original works and spread the anti-bullying message to their peers.

The event is also an opportunity to raise money to support the prevention of bullying in schools and to raise consciousness for anti-bullying messages.

The event will feature KISS 98.5 personalities Janet Snyder, who will host the event, and Nicholas Picholas, who will serve as celebrity judge. A panel of judges, including former boxer "Baby" Joe Mesi and Buffalo Sabres alumnus Andrew Peters, will score the acts. Joining them will be Dennis R. Black, UB vice president for university life and services, and Amanda Nickerson, associate professor of counseling and director of UB's Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention.

"Clearly the issue of bullying and harassment in schools is a prevalent concern," Nickerson said. "And it's really the young people who are going to take the lead in setting a culture and climate of acceptance and dignity for all people."

Bullying and harassment occur frequently among youth, with one out of three students involved as perpetrator, target or both. Bullying and harassment are related to social, emotional, behavioral and academic problems, and can impact all involved. Bullying has received unprecedented attention in the media; in legislation such as the New York Dignity for All Students Act, effective July 2012, with an amendment including cyber bullying that become effective in July 2013; and in the general public.

Schools are frequently at the forefront of many bullying efforts and mandates, and often face competing priorities (budget challenges, mandates about teacher performance assessment). BAND Against Bullying seeks to involve youth in raising awareness as an important first step. 

The BAND Against Bullying team stresses the importance of creating awareness for promoting the theme of "All Needs for Dignity." It is not about winning or losing. The team urges students to treat others the way they would like to be treated - harmoniously, with dignity, kindness, free of any discrimination, intimidation, harassment, taunting and/or bullying. But the BAND Team still wants to encourage friendly competition. Students who earn the highest scores in the artistic competition will receive trophies and other recognition.

Bullying and harassment occur frequently among youth, and studies indicate one out of three students is involved as perpetrator, target or both. Bullying and harassment are related to social, emotional, behavioral and academic problems, and can affect both the target and the person doing the bullying.

For more information on the event, visit http://www.nybandagainstbullying.org/. Tickets are $5 each and are on sale at the website or at the UB box office.

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