Two First Student executives represented the nation's largest school bus contractor during a special event at the White House that called further attention to student bullying.
The documentary "Bully" features the true story of middle-school student Alex Libby who is bullied by fellow students, especially on the school bus, and his parents' work to bring attention to Alex's plight despite encountering resistance from school administrators.
Maureen Richmond, director of media relations, was joined by Lisa Marrs, national charter sales manager, at the April 20 event, as First Student was invited in recognition of its own national anti-bullying campaign "See Something. Do Something." The campaign was launched at the start of the current school year to train more than 59,000 bus drivers as well as bus attendants on how to respond to and prevent bullying. The training is based on the program developed last year by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools and NAPT.First Student is also working with the filmmakers on "The Bully Project: 1 Million Kids" campaign, for which First Student is volunteering to transport 1 million students to weekday screenings of the documentary.
“We are thrilled to have representatives from First Student attending this special screening of such an important film, but even more proud of the fact that our employees are demonstrating a commitment to the issue of bullying,” said Burtwistle. “Our bus drivers transport six million students each day and we realize that we have an opportunity to make a real difference in the anti-bullying movement.”
The film "Bully," produced by the Harvey Weinstein's The Weinstein Group, drew controversy earlier this year after the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) sought an R rating because of language and subject matter. Proponents of the film argued that such a rating would deter children of all ages from seeing the film as it tackles an issue that has become one of the most polarizing in today's educational setting. On April 5, MPAA granted a PG-13 rating without cutting what the filmmakers called a "crucial" scene.
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