Central Lee students in Southeast Iowa found an effective way to fight bullying.
A group of high schoolers respond to claims of bullying among younger students.
Now they are trying to make that message go viral.
"We heard about this video conference where the task was literally just to say what your school has been doing to improve bullying. We thought we've been doing this. This is an authentic task where we can share the success our kids have had at making a difference at the school level," TAG (talented and gifted) Program Coordinator Hollie Weber said. Weber worked with students to implement anti-bullying projects over the past year.
The video contest is through the Governor's Anti-Bullying Summit. If their video gets the most views they win $500 to expand their already award-winning anti-bullying programs.
"People come up to us and tell us how much impact we've had on their lives and tell us that things are getting better for them," Co-Founder of the Anti-Bullying programs Camille Adajar said.
Two Central Lee High School students started their campaign against bullying last year. Camille Adajar and Breanna Kramer were so successful they won first place at the International Future Problem Solving conference over the summer.
"I think the most powerful part of the project has been that it is student led. I don't know that the students have said anything that an adult hasn't said at some point, but the person that it is coming from has made a huge difference," Weber said.
Middle School was identified as a problem area for bullying, so the entire school was surveyed on the subject. The results of that survey helped develop anti-bullying projects.
"We really wanted to make a difference there, and start young, so that when they go to high school, those characteristics follow," Co-Founder Breanna Kramer explained.
One of the projects is a bully locker. Kids slip letters in the locker about times they were bullied, or saw bullying. Those letters are handled by high school students, who decide what will be the best way to deal with them. "Through the bullying locker we get a lot of anonymous reports of bullying. Last year we actually stopped a fight that was going to happen," Kramer said.
Camille and Breanna also organized a game called Rak-it-up, or Random Act of Kindness. Students pass along the kind things they've done for their classmates. The girls also addressed the emotional side of bullying with a Day of Silence.
"Rather than physical bullying it's been reported that verbal and emotional bullying is most common," Adajar said.
Since the programs have been in place, the girls say they have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. That is why they decided to enter the video contest.
Central Lee High School's video is lagging behind in views. The school with the most video views wins.
Click here to support Central Lee in the video contest.