Published March 27, 2018
The Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention was a co-sponsor of UB’s 15th annual Safe Schools Initiative Seminar held March 20 on the North Campus. The center is directed by Amanda Nickerson, professor from the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology and has become a valuable resource in local and national discussions on bullying, school violence and safety issues for children. One of the goals of the seminar, “Collaborating to Address Safety and Mental Health Issues, and to Recover from Crisis,” was to help participants who experience school-based tragedies.
“This is really for law enforcement and educators, trying to bring those two together,” said Nickerson, “… this year we decided to partly focus on what happens after an event.” The Alberti Center’s co-sponsorship is an example of Nickerson’s ongoing community efforts to fulfill the mission of the center.
Two national school safety leaders presented at this year’s seminar. Michele Gay and Mo Canady who have diverse and complementary personal and professional experiences. Gay is a mother, former teacher and founder of Safe and Sound Schools: A Sandy Hook Initiative. After losing her daughter, Josephine Grace, on Dec. 14, 2012, Gay chose to take action as an advocate for improved school security and safety in the nation’s schools. Canady became executive director for the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) in 2011 after a 25-year career in law enforcement with the City of Hoover, Alabama police department. A law enforcement instructor since 1993, Canady became an instructor for NASRO in 2001, and a board member in 2005. He is past-president of the Alabama Association of School Resource Officers.
Launched in 2011, the Alberti Center is a national resource on the prevention of bullying and other forms of school violence among school children. The center’s mission is to reduce bullying abuse in schools and in the community by contributing knowledge and by providing effective anti-bullying tools.
In addition to research on bullying and school violence, the center holds an annual conference and a colloquium series four times a year. These events feature expert speakers on topics relevant to the center’s mission. The Alberti Center staff is also out in the community during the year sharing resources.
“Bullying abuse and other forms of violence in schools and our communities continue to be a concern,” said Nickerson. “I value our role in producing research and working with our community, state and national partners to make an impact.”