For National Bullying Prevention Awareness month, students and teachers at Thomas Johnson Elementary Middle school created a short video about the importance of bullying prevention and how it affects their peers. Each student had the opportunity to participate in the video, and express themselves about the affects of bullying.

“It’s important not to bully, because if you bully someone you can really hurt their feelings,” says Tahlik an eighth grade student. Students were excited to see themselves and their peers on screen.

The school’s social worker, Megan Hartings and psychologist Greg Wiatrowski came up with the idea, wanting to approach the topic in a different way than in previous years. They created the video in hopes that, in hearing and seeing their peers talk about bullying; it would foster a conversation that they haven’t been able to have in the past.

After the video screening, a discussion was held covering the four types of bullying including emotional, verbal, physical and cyber bullying. Ways to identify bullying, preventing it and speaking up about it were also discussed.

“Some of their answers were very heartfelt and you can that they are listening,” says Greg Wiatrowski who was delighted to see the students’ response to the project.

“I’ve never experienced bullying personally but I’ve seen somebody being bullied and it’s not very nice. I don’t want it to happen to me or other kids in this school,” says Jake a student.

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