National Expert on Child Bullying and Hazing to Speak at UB

Release Date: September 17, 2008 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jean Alberti, Ph.D., a nationally known expert on child psychology and behavior, will speak on how to end bullying and school violence at 4 p.m. on Sept. 22 in 250 Baird Hall on the University at Buffalo's North Campus.

Alberti's talk, sponsored by the UB Graduate School of Education, comes as charges are pending against three former baseball players from Wilson High School in Niagara County accused of attacking three younger players on a school bus in April.

Alberti, who earned a doctorate in educational psychology from UB's Graduate School of Education, will explore the concept of bullying as child abuse, giving her recommendations on what can and should be done in schools, home and society to prevent this violence and these attacks. A licensed clinical psychologist in Chicago and former president of the international professional association of educators Pi Lambda Theta, Alberti has taken keen interest in what local officials are calling the Wilson High School "hazing" case.

"There are several disturbing things about this case," Alberti said from her Chicago office. "The head coaches were on the bus, and are now charged with child endangerment. One of the points of my lecture is that too many educators think that bullying is okay, a 'rite of passage,' an instance of 'boys being boys,' and therefore, 'It's no big thing.' So they do nothing about it, which condones it. This teaches these and other boys that it's okay. That continues it into the next generation of adults and children."

As the Wilson case points out, the law required physical evidence to prosecute. But Alberti says the emotional and psychological injury is usually worse than physical injury.

"Physical injuries eventually heal, but emotional and psychological injuries affect the individual for his entire life," she says. "The humiliation and embarrassment have lifelong ramifications."

Bullying or hazing is nothing less than child abuse, according to Alberti. "That is the primary message of my presentation," she said. "Why do we allow children to abuse other children? That teaches them that abuse and violence are appropriate ways to interact with others, appropriate ways of coping or, in this case, of having 'fun' at someone else's expense.

"As you can see, I feel very strongly about this subject and will have a lot more to say on Monday."

Alberti has extensive firsthand experience working with these issues through her years as a clinical psychologist.

The lecture is free, and members of the public are invited. The event is co-sponsored by the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, which is affiliated with the UB Law School. Alberti was born and raised in Buffalo. She graduated from D'Youville College, taught at local elementary schools, and in addition to her doctoral degree, earned a master's degree from UB. A reception for Alberti will follow the program.

For more details visit or call (716) 645-6640.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Charles Anzalone
News Content Manager
Educational Opportunity Center, Law,
Nursing, Honors College, Student Activities

Tel: 716-645-4600