Free film screening takes stand against cyberbullying

Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), southeastern Vermont's nonprofit community mental-health agency, will be hosting a special online screening of the documentary, The Upstanders. The free showing of the 56-minute film will take place on Wednesday, May 4, at noon.

According to a news release, The Upstanders “is unsettling and uplifting, causing us all to examine our behavior, inspiring us to do better, and stand up against victimization and cyberbullying.”

After the film, there will be an informative panel discussion led by Jennifer Smith, director, and Heather Wilcoxon, assistant director, both of HCRS Children, Youth & Families Division, with special guests Vanessa Thayer and Matt Alden from Springfield Public Schools and Steve Perrin and Chris Day from Brattleboro Union High School.

The film features in-depth interviews with kids, families who have lost their children to cyberbullying-related suicide, and the very best experts in the world from prestigious institutions, including Stanford University and Child Mind Institute in New York City. The Upstanders also includes two members of Oprah's 2020 Vision Tour: Jesse Israel of The Big Quiet, and Radha Agrawal of Daybreaker and author of Belong.

Through its experts, the film explores the science behind cyberbullying, why kids are afraid to admit they are cyberbullied and signs to watch for, best ways to support your cyberbullied child, and how the community can show resilience and power to end bullying.

Woven through this film is the very personal, first-hand account of a family's tragic loss that inspired new legislation to turn the tide against this very real epidemic.

According to Jennifer Smith, “This film highlights the profound and devastating effect that social media can have on young people, especially. It reminds us that, although social media is everywhere, all the time, we can take important and meaningful steps to reduce the impact cyberbullying has on the young people in our lives. This film is great for parents, teachers - really anyone who has young people in their lives whom they care to protect.”

To register for this free event, contact Mary Moeykens at [email protected] or call 802-886-4567, ext. 2157.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates