Students and mentor create a powerful anti-bullying message

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A video might be worth even more.

A group of sixth graders at Singing River Academy in Gautier, along with their school social worker, have produced a video that speaks volumes, and the words are powerful.

Three simple words, “This is me,” inspired by a song in the movie The Greatest Showman. The video is a lesson in self-esteem. These students won’t be bullied.

“They can stand up, and they can understand that they are worthy and they are loved for who they are, no matter what," said social worker Emily Salter. "And they don’t have to hide. “

In the video, student Madison Parker played a bully. That opened her eyes.

“It made me feel like I wouldn’t want to be the bully because one day you’re going to get bullied and you’re going to say, I wish I had never done that because it’s going to come back to you," Parker said.

The students know the message they are sending needs to be heard and seen.

“I thought it was a good idea to spread the word to other kids not to bully people," said student Joel Broome. "Or if they got bullied, tell an adult because bully needs to be taught a lesson.”

Making the video made these students wise beyond their years.

“I want to tell other kids that you should believe in yourself. Like be you," said Shelby Gunter. "Don’t let anybody bring you down if they’re calling you names.”

We think of bullying occurring in the pure physical world, like outside of a locker in a school hallway, in a classroom setting or eating lunch in the school cafeteria.

But it also occurs in the online world. A few clicks of a mouse can be devastating for a child according to Salter.

“Kids feel like they are almost invisible," she said. "Like they can hide behind a screen and they can say very hurtful and mean things and they think that it doesn’t have the same impact.”

There’s no doubt about the impact of the video.

“We shared it that night and by the next morning, my phone was blowing up," said Chandler Beasley, a teacher who helped with the project. "Parents were texting us, the school was emailing us and when we go to work that morning, all the teachers were very excited and so were the students.”

This message will continue to teach for years to come.

Salter said the entire project took about six weeks to put together.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.