Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has joined forces with 200 other mayors across the country in a national fight to stop bullying.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has partnered with The BULLY Project to bring anti-bullying programming to schools and communities.

The BULLY Project uses the film “Bully” to teach kids, educators and parents about bullying and how to prevent it as a bystander. The group has created training for educators to share in their schools. By agreeing to partner with The BULLY Project, the mayors in the U.S. Conference of Mayors pledge to show the film in a public setting and advocate for more anti-bullying programming in local schools.

“In general, I want to make sure we’re doing all we can to partner with our schools,” Stanton said. “The issue of bullying is one where we have to take it very seriously. … Everybody knows either themselves or a family member or a friend or a friend’s child that has experience with bullying. You know how devastating that can be in the life of a child and affect that individual for the remainder of their life. If there’s anything we can do to end bullying and really to get bystanders involved … we’ve got to do something about it.”

Stanton said he doesn’t have information yet about when the film will be shown in Phoenix, but he’s working on organizing the event and will announce more details once plans are made official.

The mayor’s wife, Nicole Stanton, has been an outspoken advocate against bullying. She launches Stop Bullying AZ in 2012 to raise awareness of the issue. Her website, stopbullyingaz.org, has a list of community events and resources for local leaders to use.

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell also made the anti-bullying commitment.

“Initiatives like The BULLY Project bring attention to one of the most important challenges school-age children experience in our country,” Mitchell said. “Everyone is entitled to feel safe at school, and we must be willing to work together as a community to face this problem head-on.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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