Watch Illinois Seventh Grader’s Powerful Anti-Bullying Video
Lifestyle| | By Brian Delpozo
An Illinois seventh grader has released a powerful video on the affects of bullying.
The seven-minute video, entitled, The Bully, tells Jonah Maxwell’s story, plus those of other anonymous true stories of bullying, with a backdrop of masked children representing the faceless mass of bullies that torment kids in school and over social media.
The film’s narration hauntingly describes the fear and isolation that comes from being bullied:
“We all knew what was going on — we knew about the beatings, and we knew who was doing it — we knew who locked him in a cupboard, and we know who sent him really bad tweets and messages. But I think we all expected somebody else to do something about it.”
The video then transitions to brighter, unmasked kids with narration from Maxwell explaining how those who are bullied must speak up, seek help, and befriend each other.
Maxwell spent over seven months working on the short film, writing, producing, and directing it. Since it’s debut, teachers from his hometown of Chicago all the way to Australia have shown the video to students in an attempt to bring about change.
According to his mother Jenny, the boy was inspired to make the video thanks to his own experiences.
“He has been bullied in elementary school and has seen kids get bullied in middle school and via social media,” said Jenny. “He feels very strongly about this topic and he wants to try encourage kids to speak up if it’s happening to you or if you’re doing the bullying, to stop!”
She went on to express her pride in the reach the video has had, saying, “It made me cry and it has given so many people hope and courage. We are delighted! If it helps one child it will have been worth it.”
As of press time, The Bully has been viewed over 436,000 times on YouTube.