By: Sharon Aron Baron
In 2010, the Broward Sheriff’s Office joined efforts with the Southern Poverty Law Center to create the film Bullied: a Student, a School and a Case that Made History, which tells the story of the first gay student to sue a school district in federal court for failing to protect him from bullying.
For the third time, a screening of Bullied was open to the public on Monday, January 30 at the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts. Afterward, Sheriff Al Lamberti, Capt. Rick Wierzbicki of BSO’s Hate Crimes and Anti-Bias Task Force and Robert Tanen and Lily Medina of the Florida Anti-Defamation League took part in a panel discussion about bullying and hate crimes.
The Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County donated money on behalf of Sheriff Lamberti and BSO’s Hate Crimes/Anti-Bias Task Force to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help produce the documentary. In the first year of release, the Southern Poverty Law Center hoped to distribute 25,000 copies of the film to educators nationwide. Just after the one year anniversary of the film’s release, there have been more than 60,000 requests for copies, forcing a second printing.
“Bullied is clearly making a nationwide impact,” Sheriff Lamberti said. “I’m very proud of BSO’s efforts to combat hate and discrimination in Broward County, and I’m honored to have helped the Southern Poverty Law Center produce a film that takes a strong stand against bullying.”
Sponsors of the event include Sheriff Lamberti and BSO, Shelly Solomon Heller Life Coach, Advanced Cable Communications, Forum Publishing Group, Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts and Whole Foods of Coral Springs along with the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
For more information about the film, contact Capt. Wierzbicki at (954) 849-6422.