Recently a short YouTube video has been circulating from teacher Brian Switzer and students from the Morse Pond School in Falmouth. This anti-bullying video from local kids on Cape Cod is amazing for several reasons, but the most important reasons are that our young kids in the community are taking a major leadership role and becoming empowered to make a change.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead
The video came about on two fronts. First, it was produced for a School Department program called “No Guff.” This is a yearly effort by the Falmouth Public Schools to raise awareness about bullying. Specifically, the video comes out of Morse Pond School’s TEAM Program. This is a Talented and Motivated classroom that is run by myself (I do the Language side of the program, i.e. film, journalism, theater, etc.) and Ann Goulart, who runs the math component of the program. (We both coordinated on the video project)
The second front is the creative side. As with most stories, books, videos, etc. it came from a small idea that was then enlarged and given details. In this case the idea of “Stand up” is where we started. It is a simple phrase but lends itself to the message that we want people to get up and do something about this horrible thing called bullying. Additionally we wanted to get across the idea that there are way more people supporting you then there are those who are trying to drag you down.
As a school, Morse Pond wanted to get everyone involved so they would have ownership in saying, “We stand behind the effort to stop bullies.” (I should also mention our Principal Andrea Schwamb, who supported this effort As for the students at the school, they are quick to get behind a project like this.) Not only does the message resonate with each one of them but they love being part of a project that is larger than themselves. These kids are part of the digital age and are all to familiar with Youtube and the internet. Here is an introduction to creating content for the internet that is positive and shows them and their community in a positive light. It’s empowering in a positive way. Our hope is it will have a lasting impact on our students and the larger community.
~Brian Switzer & Morse Pond School, Falmouth
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