About the Program
Sample Program
Sample Program

Following the performances, several schools, teachers and parents had the following comments to say about Bystander. Also, see What the Students are Saying

“I have recently gone over the Bystander Box program to prepare for our assembly in January 2013. I wanted to take the time beforehand to commend you for putting together an inspiring program that I know will reach many.

Belle Chasse Academy is a K thru 8 school that is located on a naval base near New Orleans. Most of our students are military dependent children, which require them to leave this area once their parents receive new orders every two to four years. Because of this, we have new students coming from all over the country throughout the entire year.

Our principal is dedicated to ending bullying in our school, so much so, that bullying prevention is what I do here all day long. While we have tried many different approaches to reaching bystanders, often the message goes unheard or is quickly forgotten. After reviewing bySTANDER, A Portrait in Apathy, I am both excited and eager to hear from students after our assembly and debriefing session. Not only does your program clarify the role of the bySTANDER, but you also give them the necessary tools and know how to take action. Congratulations and thank you again.”
—Melissa Licali, Bully Prevention Facilitator, Belle Chase Academy, Belle Chase, Louisiana

“(My son)... told me all about the play and what a powerful message it had. Thank you for organizing this and for choosing my son to be part of it as well. It really had an impression on him and he was so proud to be a member of the cast.”
—Parent of a Haddonfield Cast Member

"The production was an extraordinary opportunity for students and staff to both identify and observe the impact of standing by while bullying takes place. All members of the audience were mesmerized. You could hear a pin drop which is quite a feat for a middle school presentation. Clearly the message was moving and inspirational."
—Doreen Mullarney, SAC at Applegarth Middle School

"Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy is an essential program for creating awareness and action in every middle school. Through the voices of student performers, the often concealed world of school bullying is brought to life in an authentic, powerful, and inspiring way."
—Claire Faherty, Teacher at Applegarth Middle School

“I highly recommend this program. The faculty and staff at my school had a tremendous amount of praise for it. I would recommend smaller audiences. We had one presentation to our 500 ninth grade students and then two smaller presentations (300 students each) to our eighth grade students. The smaller eighth grade assemblies were more powerful. Teachers are still talking about that assembly! It was very good! Jillian is wonderful to work with. I want to hire her as a teacher in our building!”
—Jonathon Graf, Assitant Principal Indian Crest Junior High

”I would strongly recommend Jill Palmieri's program to your school. She is a wonderful educator in all respects—caring, intelligent, insightful, and creative. As sad as I was to see her leave teaching, I must say how glad I am that now more schools (and thus more students) get the opportunity to work with her. Her work in bullying prevention is tremendously important and powerful for all schools. The students and staff alike were very effected by the Bystander: Portrait in Apathy performance in fall of 2007 here at Applegarth. From the teachers, I kept hearing, "When can she come back again?" She certainly raised the awareness among our students and empowered them to action. The students she worked with for the week to be "performers" really emerged as leaders within our 7th grade team. I've already booked Jill for next year—we really are looking forward to working with her again.
—Maria Steffero, Teacher at Applegarth Middle School

“I am a 9th grade guidance counselor and we are always looking for new ways to address and hopefully reduce bullying at the middle school level. Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy was a welcomed change to the typical bullying assemblies I have been exposed to in the past. Led by Jillian Palmieri, 17 of our students were trained daily for a week and on the last day they delivered the program themselves. The students chosen gave 3 performances on the last day and these performances were followed up by small discussion groups which every student in the school got to participate in. The performances themselves are what make this program so special. The message focuses on victims and bystanders and truly plucks some heart strings and sends a strong message. The students and teachers in this building were so moved by the assemblies that I have not stopped hearing about the impact the program had. I highly recommend Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy, if you are looking for a new and effective way to address and confront the bullying problem in your school.
—Tim McCloud, Guidance Counselor at Pennfield Middle School

I have had nothing but rave reviews from teachers, parents and students. So many parents who heard about the performance had asked why I didn't have the students perform it for parents. They were also asking about a performance for the younger students. I explained that the Bystander performance was for a more mature audience, but as soon as you have a program for the K-4 students please let me know. I have been reminding the students constantly about the messages from the play during my monthly lessons with middles schoolers. The students really seemed to have FELT the message of the performance. I did see one immediate change in a sixth grade class. There were a few students who cried and talked openly about being picked on for being different. After the play, a few of the students decided to sit with the two boys during lunch instead of them eating alone. The performance has given me tons of material to use and work with this year. I am especially pleased because when I make a reference to the performance in a classroom, I can easily look around and find at least one student who was in the play in each Homeroom. It really helps the students hearing the message over and over again from their peers.
—Tom Zemzik, Guidance Counselor at Kingwood School

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