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updated: 6/18/2013 1:52 PM

Panel, Film to Highlight Bullying Epidemic

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Harper College News Bureau

Harper College experts will join others from the Palatine community this month for a panel discussion exploring options for confronting the nation's bullying epidemic. The discussion, which will include insight from Harper Dean of Student Affairs Ashley Knight and Harper College Police Officer Stephan Liggio, comes amid grim statistics suggesting more than 13 million students will be bullied in American schools this year.

"The most effective approach to bullying is prevention, and that takes communication and involvement from educators, parents and other community leaders," says Knight, who says the national epidemic is also a community concern. "I'm pleased to have this opportunity to help make our schools and community safer and healthier for all students."

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The panel discussion will follow a screening of the documentary "Bully," a 2012 film directed by Lee Hirsch that focuses on five bullied students and the ways that they cope.

"We are overdue in addressing bullying in a comprehensive, cohesive way," says Liggio, an 11-year veteran of Harper's Police Department. "It's time to make bullying a thing of the past, and enough of us standing together will make that achievable."

The screening and panel discussion is a joint presentation of Harper's InZone summer camp program, the Palatine Park District and Northwest Community Healthcare. Dr. Kathy Pluymert, Director of Education Programs for District 15, and Reverend Michelle McNamara of Chicago's United Church of Christ will join Knight and Liggio for the discussion.

The event is at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, 150 E. Wood Street in Palatine. Tickets are $3. "Bully" is rated PG-13 for strong language.

To purchase tickets, visit www.cuttinghall.org, call 847.202.5222 or visit the Box Office at 150 E. Wood Street in Palatine. For details, contact Carol Lange with the Palatine Park District, 847.496.6237 or clange@palatineparks.org.

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