School life can be tough during the younger years, and as students begin to size up their peers bullying can begin.
Some students at E. S. Richardson Elementary School in Minden are getting a jump on the problem with an anti-bullying video they made to spread their message of love and acceptance.
Counselor Olivia Greer said the YouTube video was borne out of lessons she teaches the students about the roles of bullying: victim, bystander and bully.
"When we finished the lessons we all kind of had this feeling of we can't let this end here," she said, adding that the students came to her wanting to know how they could carry on their cause.
"I give them full credit," Greer said. "They really took the reins. They were very determined. I felt like they have successfully put themselves in the shoes of each person involved in bullying."
The whole movie was shot with Greer's iPad.
"I would hand the iPad over and give them two rules: Don't drop my iPad and try to hold it as still as you can," Greer explained that she did the editing, but the students did the rest.
The school-wide initiative involved directors, camera operators and actors. Students applied for the positions, one from each class. They came up with skits, while Greer posed questions for them about bullying and recorded their responses.
"I hope they learn bullying isn't cool," said fourth grader Anna Beth Nunn.
It took three weeks to shoot and edit, the students were blown away by the finished product.
"I think it [bullying] is a big problem at many different schools, you see it all over the news you see it all over the news, you see it in newspapers, you see it on the Internet, you see it everywhere," said fifth grader Emma Greer.
The video was posted on YouTube Tuesday afternoon, and within the first 24 hours, it has been viewed nearly 2,000 times.
"I was amazed at how it came together as well as it did," fifth grader Amari Knapp said.
In their own backyard.
"You know, just to see that people are watching a movie from such a small town like Minden, a school like this, it's amazing," said fifth grader Donovan Douglas.
School leaders say they've been flooded with positive feedback about it.
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