AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - The battle against bullies continues more than a year after the suicide of Williamsville North teen Jamey Rodemeyer inspired a national movement.
The tone and focus of the public discussion about bullying is changing. Instead of stricter laws or punishment for bullies, now we're hearing a different kind of talk....
Jamey's mother, Tracy Rodemeyer, said, "To me, if someone told me I had to live a year in hiding - like in a witness protection program - that's basically what these people are doing, because they feel so unaccepted."
...getting inside the minds and hearts of victims and bullies, analyzing what's going on - quite simply, having some empathy.
Jamey's parents are among the advocates promoting this unique way to think about bullying prevention. And it's one theme of a new campaign, called "kNOw bullying!" that the Museum of disABILITY history kicked off with this forum Wednesday night.
The campaign will visit fourth-grade students in schools across western New York, teaching them about self-awareness, and character.
Museum curator Doug Platt said, "...Promoting the idea that we need to accept and celebrate our differences. To understand that yes, we all have differences. But yes, we also each have dignity that we should learn to respect and celebrate."
"You have to accept who you are. And you are a special person. You are the way you are, because you were made that way," said Jamey's dad, Tim Rodemeyer.
The panel was actually a precursor to another event on Thursday - the disABILITIES Film Festival. It takes place at the Center for the Arts on UB's North Campus. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. and the film screening is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 or $2 with a student ID. You can find more information here.
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