Filming a message
Harbour Grace students make anti-bullying movie
Students at Harbour Grace Primary raise their right hands as they recite the anti-bullying pledge on Feb. 27. The movie starts with a student in a hallway. Holding her books, she turns away from her locker with the intention of going to class. At the same moment, a young boy crosses in front of her. The boy shoots his arm out in a downward arc, knocking the books to the floor in front of her.
Fast forward a scene and something else is playing out.
A Grade 4 student walks into the lunch room at Harbour Grace Primary.
As she enters, a group of students at another table start to snicker. Shunned and dejected, the girl takes her seat at another table, alone.
What do both of these scenarios have in common?
They are both examples of bullying and something “Stand Up” to Bullying Day is aiming to bring to a screeching halt.
The movie is a result of an effort by the Grade 4 students at Harbour Grace Primary. In a school-wide assembly, the classes led by Heather Ivey and Wanda Lee Roach premiered it for their peers and a small group of parents.
Halfway through the movie, student Denver Neil walked around handing out tissue. It was a good thing. At the end, there were not many dry eyes left in the gymnasium.
“They’re like happy tears,” he would say later.
The movie took about two days to shoot from beginning to end. Nine-year-old Savannah Sheppard found her time on the movie enjoyable. “It was really cool,” she said. “It was fun,” added Denver. Getting the message about bullying was the goal, but the students found it challenging acting out the bullying parts.
“I was kind of sad because I just looked at Jasmine and I didn’t do anything,” said Savannah
Proud to do it
One thing that does stand out with students, teachers and parents is the sense of pride that comes with seeing such a worthwhile venture being undertaken by those so young.
School principal Christine Kennedy had no idea what the students had planned for antibullying day.
“The first time I saw it … I was amazed by what the students had done,” she said.
What impressed the principal the most was the effectiveness the students showed at understanding the message behind Anti-Bullying Day.
“How they got their head around the message of bullying and what it looks like,” said
Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass Kennedy. “A lot of them will tell tell a friend or a parent, but what can you do? And they really showed that they knew different ways of bullying and how it affects people and they showed how to make it right.”
Denver said he was “proud” to be involved in the movie and to get the message out about bullying and the effects it can have on people.
How it ends
Meanwhile, as the girl kneels down to pick up her books, two students standing next her show some kindness by helping collect the books.
And just before the girl in the lunchroom finishes her lunch, three friends make their way to her table. Smiling, the now group of four, eat together.
“I’m so proud of them,” said Kennedy.