‘BAND Against Bullying III’ music and arts competition returns to UB

Twelve local schools bring a message of awareness, prevention and ‘dignity for all’ to UB’s Center for the Arts

Release Date: April 23, 2015

“Empowering these leaders of tomorrow to set the tone in their schools and community is key to preventing bullying and other forms of violence.”
Amanda Nickerson, director, Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo will again join forces with Hodgson Russ LLP and M&T Bank for another “BAND Against Bullying” school arts competition to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, in the Center for the Arts on the UB North Campus.

The event – fast becoming a spring fixture for UB and area schools – will bring students to the university to demonstrate their musical and artistic skills in a live performing arts competition. It also is an opportunity for students to promote the theme of dignity and respect for all students, raise community awareness of bullying-related issues and rally support for anti-bullying education efforts.

Eleven local high schools and one middle school will send students chosen to represent their schools to perform through either a musical, artistic or dramatic piece that they have produced themselves. The public is encouraged to attend and support the students performing.

“I am particularly excited for this year’s event, as it will be our biggest yet,” says Amanda B. Nickerson, PhD, director of UB’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention. “The energy of the students is palpable, and it is so encouraging to see them use their considerable talents to spread such an important message of the importance of treating others with dignity and respect.

“Empowering these leaders of tomorrow to set the tone in their schools and community is key to preventing bullying and other forms of violence.”

This year’s event will feature KISS 98.5 personalities Janet Snyder, who will host the event, and Nicholas Picholas, who will serve as one of the celebrity judges responsible for scoring the acts. Other judges will include former boxer “Baby Joe” Mesi, Buffalo Sabres alumnus Andrew Peters, and Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow from the New York City-based indie pop band MS MR.

Joining them on the judges’ panel will be Dennis R. Black, UB vice president for university life and services; Nickerson; Ed Suk of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and Chris Ring of After Dark Entertainment Inc.

The presenting sponsor for this year’s event is Hodgson Russ LLP. Other key sponsors include M&T Bank and the Alberti Center. Tickets are $5 each and available at the Center for the Arts box office or online. For more information, go to http://nybandagainstbullying.org/event.php.

BAND Against Bullying III’s main message is as relevant as in previous years, the event’s organizers said. 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 by the general public.

Alberti Center officials aimed BAND Against Bullying at local secondary students because schools are frequently at the forefront of many bullying efforts and mandates, and often face competing priorities such as budget challenges and 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 “Banding 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 friendly competition is encouraged. Students who earn the highest scores in the artistic competition will receive trophies and other recognition.

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