SF fighting school bullies with video contest

(KGO)

October 3, 2012 6:43:55 PM PDT
Bullying has become one of the most serious issues facing children and teens. Now, students from the San Francisco Unified School District are being encouraged to produce a 60-second video with an anti-bullying message. The contest is called "Bye Bye Bullying." Middle and high school students from San Francisco are asked to come up with some creative ways to convey their anti-bullying message. Those who don't own a camera will be trained by the Bay Area video coalition.

Schools across the nation have taken the anti-bullying message to heart with some even producing quality videos like one done by students at Cypress Ranch High School in Texas "When you're out in the crowd, knocking little kids down, it doesn't make you feel big," their song goes.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon is now encouraging San Francisco middle and high school students to produce anti-bullying videos. The best 60-second video will be posted on the district attorney's website. "They're suffering out there. We have kids who commit suicide because of bullying," Gascon said.

Allie Ferrey says is a student at Wallenberg High School in San Francisco. She heads the Gay Straight Alliance at her school. The 18-year-old knows firsthand what it's like to be harassed. "In middle school and elementary school, I was teased off of my appearances and how I looked and how I came across toward students," she recalled.

Videos produced by teens seem to encourage positive responses towards bullying. Gascon says about 36 percent of kids who are bullied miss or stop going to school. He says his office encourages people to speak up and report these cases. "The goal here is really to work with the school, work with the victim, work with the offender, work with their families," he said.

The deadline to enter the video contest is November 7.

The purpose of the campaign is to increase awareness about the effects of bullying on students and to encourage positive responses towards bullying.

Contestants will create a 60 second video of one of the following themes:
1. What is Bullying? What does bullying and harassment mean to you?
2. Effects of Bullying. What is the impact of bullying and harassment?
3. Effective Ways to Respond to Bullying. What positive responses have teachers, administrators and/or classmates provided to address bullying and harassment at school?

Videos will be evaluated by a panel of Judges. Contest winners will be announced on Dec 4th. Contest winners will win prizes including iPads, sailing lessons, graffiti art classes and much more. Submission period for "Bye Bye Bullying" starts on Oct. 3rd and ends Nov.7th, 2012. For more information, http://www.sfdistrictattorney.com


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