High school girls reach out with anti-bullying video
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 5:03PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 24, 2012 7:19PM EDT
A group of students at a high school in Hudson have produced an anti-bullying video with a simple, but important message: You are not alone, reach out.
Kelly Lopes, a grade 11 student at Westwood Senior High School is the teenager behind the impressive video.
A former victim of bullying, she felt it was important to speak out.
“I have something to say - I have been bullied,” she said. “I had some physical attacks when someone whipped a tennis ball at my head close to my temple.”
The video (see below) is based on her story and dedicated, in part, to Amanda Todd, the British Columbia teenager who recently killed herself after being a victim of bullying.
“Every time I hear that story, it pains. It really pains me to hear it because that could have been me,” said Lopes.
Set to the soundtrack of Cinematic Orchestra’s To Build a Home, featuring the voice of Hudson's own Patrick Watson, the video is a series of flashcards telling Lopes’s story, much in the way the Todd’s video did. But though it begins in stark black and white, the message soon becomes more positive, turning into a colour video filled with the smiling faces of teenaged girls calling themselves smart, beautiful and strong – but most of all, not alone.
The video returns to black and white at the end, reminding others that others, including Lopes’s sister, continue to be bullied, and asking others to reach out.
Part of the message behind the video is a reminder to teens to believe in themselves.
“My favorite part is the flashing (cards), like saying we are beautiful, we are smart, we are worthy. It just shows that we all believe that,” said student Karen Mumby, who also took part in creating the film.
All the teens behind the video are part of the “Girls Seminar,” a group initiated by two teachers last year.
The group meets once a week in an effort to help build self-esteem.
“We really focus on helping girls feel better about themselves and stop bullying and then we go to the junior school as well,” said grade 11 student Molie Filiatrault-Asselin.
The group even set up a Wall of Kindness in the girls’ bathroom. In stark contrast to the traditionally mean-spirited and nasty words that can be found on the walls of high school bathroom stalls, this wall focuses on spreading a positive message.
“We just wrote a couple of nice things about other girls and signed it anonymously so it's just really a confidence builder,” said Victoria Debraga, a grade 9 student.
The confidence builder inspires many young girls to take action and be kind to each other.
“It feels good to know that you are doing a difference and helping others,” said Filiatrault-Asselin.
Here is the video: