While talking with the Heroes of Concord Middle School we realized the true meaning of partnership. Through a combined effort with the guidance of teacher Holly Lasche, our Heroes were able to create an amazing video that tells the story of why bullying has become an important topic in middle schools today.
The Concord Story:
We created the Public Service Announcement (PSA) as part of our health teachers’, Ms. Lasche, class. We were discussing mental and emotional health and at the end of the unit we spent two weeks discussing bullying. We learned about the types of bullying, how it can have a lasting effect on everyone involved, not just the person being bullied, and also about bullycide. Our 6th grade health classes combined found it very surprising that bullycide was a real thing. The statistic we researched stated, “Bully victims are between 2-9 times more likely to consider suicide.” The students in the class found this to be a very scary and an alarming problem. They also thought it was sad to hear about the many cases of students their age and even younger who have taken their lives as a result of bullying.
During the bullying unit, Ms. Lasche also talked to us about advocacy and the importance of speaking up for what you believe in and in this case speaking and standing up for others to bring about a positive change in and outside of our school. The more Ms. Lasche taught us about bullying the more we felt the assessment project that she assigned went beyond just measuring how much we had learned, but to impacting the lives of students all around us.
We created the PSA in class over several days and it started with a rubric that explained what Ms. Lasche expected of us. She gave us another worksheet that helped us to organize our thoughts and gather our statistics that we researched on the computer. A few days later, we came together as a large class to talk about everything we found and we began to record the first part of our PSA. We used flip cameras to video all of our work. Each student had an important part in creating the announcement. The last stage was to edit the final clips and arrange them in a way that would reach out to others so that they might stand up for others who are being bullied and help bullies themselves to realize the tragic impact they are having on people lives.
After the PSA was finished, it was shown on WCNC Channel 36 News as part of Rachel’s Challenge. In addition, it was shown on our local school news. Concord Middle since then has started an anti-bullying initiative on Monday afternoons to make students and staff more aware of the harmful effects of bullying and how to prevent it. A group of individuals from the school have also started an after school bullying program. Students and staff are more aware of the procedures and efforts they can take in reporting and preventing bullying from taking place at Concord Middle School.
The main message that we wanted to send in our PSA was to be an advocate – speaking out to bring about change in a positive way! We think that we have begun to establish a safer environment for our students at Concord Middle through the PSA we created in Ms. Lasche’s Health class.
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