For Immediate Release - June 10, 2013

BMC-West Roxbury Hosts Video Screening Which Highlights Anti-Bullying Efforts

The Reinventing Justice Program of the Boston Municipal Court (BMC)-West Roxbury division is hosting a screening of a newly released video used by Probation Officers to discourage bullying and harassment among middle school students. This event, which also salutes the work of Probation Officers and police, is being held at the Parkman House this evening. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will be among the featured guests.

“Speak Up, Speak Out,” is a 15-minute video that explores the subjects of bullying, and harassment, according to Probation Officer Logan Ritchie. Ritchie, who along with fellow Probation Officer David Giacalone, will be acknowledged for their contributions to the program. As part of the Reinventing Justice program, Ritchie and Giacalone address public and parochial school children on bullying prevention efforts and show this video and another titled “You Be the Judge” in which West Roxbury First Justice Kathleen Coffey delivers a message to viewers on how to deal with peer pressure.

“We created the video as a tool for the schools to generate discussion about bullying and harassment. The video touches on the emotional, physical, and legal consequences of bullying and harassment,” Judge Coffey said.

The Reinventing Justice Program was established by Judge Coffey.who also works with a community advisory board whose members include Probation Officers, Boston Police, attorneys, and a retired Boston school principal. More than 1,500 children—grades 5th to 8th grade--have attended these assemblies over the years, according to Judge Coffey.

“The Reinventing Justice board meets on a regular basis to determine how our court can be accessible, accountable, and responsive to the needs of the community,” said Judge Coffey. “Probation Officers play a vital role in this program.”

Ritchie said,“This viewing is a celebration of the work that the West Roxbury Court is doing in the community. Probation Officers are delivering this message to school children through this video, discussions, and a Question and Answer session. I found that the video and our talk really holds the children’s attention. This program gives voice to the children. It might give one child the courage to speak to a teacher. I know it is not popular and nobody likes it. Our presentation tells them that it is okay to speak up.”

The “Speak Up, Speak Out” script was co-written by public school teacher Amanda Pyne and Naheem Garcia. It was filmed and produced by the Boston Police Department.