Year-long campus campaign begins with a film and a seminar that address the issue.

Taken from The Daily Pilot, article by Britney Barnes

5:13 PM PST, November 10, 2012

CdMHS’s Human Relations Council screened the Lee Hirsch-directed documentary “Bully.” The film was followed by a panel discussion to kick-off “Stand Up, Don’t Stand By,” a year-long campaign to raise awareness that bystanders can put a stop to bullying.

“I hope that you guys take from the film what I did: We all have a duty to step up when you see the really terrible things you are going to see in the film,” said HRC co-President Mason Lyle.

The 90-minute film takes viewers inside the daily torment of several students who face unrelenting physical and/or emotional abuse from their peers. The documentary also tells the story of several parents who have lost their children to suicide after the bullying became too much.

“The first time I saw it, I was crying, but this time I was more angry than anything,” said HRC co-President Katie Steinberg. “When you see it you’re almost in disbelief. I’m lucky enough to go to a school where physical bullying like [in the movie] doesn’t happen as often. So, it’s really just quite shocking. I think that students should be seeing it to realize that they are the ones who can make a difference and that it’s the little things that you can to do.”

HRC members decided to put on a free, school-wide screening after the students saw the film last year. The council raised the $2,000 for the theater rental through, an online site that lets donors fund individual teacher’s projects, and was allowed to show the film through the Bully Project: 1 Million Kids, a national educational initiative to inspire bullying prevention.

After the film, a panel discussion with Mason and Katie, Corona del Mar Middle School Principal Guy Olguin, teacher Tory Hughes, counselor Julie Bentwood and school resource officer Vlad Anderson was moderated by Senior Human Relations Specialist Eric Lam, with Orange County Human Relations.

“Bullying presents itself as a major human relations issue, not only in our schools, but also in adulthood,” Lam said in an email. “This type of behavior can carry itself over to the workplace, into our neighborhoods and into our communities…. If not addressed, these forms of behavior can morph into discrimination and intolerance.”

A bully is motivated by power — bullies want to feel better about themselves, Anderson said.

The word “bullying” itself is also a problem, Bentwood said. Very few people are bullies in the traditional sense, but most people will say something mean offhand, which when it happens to the same person over and over again, can have the same effect, she said.

“As long as we keep using the world bully all the time, then none of us has to take responsibility, or be accountable, for our actions,” she said.

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