by Alex Headley
Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls has announced the winners of this month’s anti-bullying video competition. Four schools, including Pinson Valley High School, Rudd Middle School, Homewood High School and Corner High School were declared winners by judges Emily Studdard, Lillian Barnwell and Russell Yawn.
“I never knew how pervasive it was here in our own communities,” Rhonda Lyn-Davie, the Media and Public Relations officer for the DA’s office, said. “It takes courage to speak up. These students and educators used courage and passion communicating about bullying.”
The winning schools will be visited by country music artist Matt Kennon on his national “Stop the Bull” tour. Kennon will be joined by motivational speaker Troy McClain, and the two will be giving a performance and speech to each school during a special assembly. The competition is co-sponsored by Terry and Nick Saban’s foundation, “Nick’s Kids”.
The contest was a preliminary event for October’s month long bullying awareness drive
. According to the DA’s office, the winning videos will be entered into other competitions around the nation. These contests are hosted online at stopbullying.gov.
“Bullying is wrong,” Falls said. “It has permeated our youth’s culture and it is problem that has our schools, parents and communities concerned. Several schools have already implemented anti-bullying programs.”
The DA’s office has commended the teachers and faculty involved in the contest.
“This contest was never a part of their curriculum,” Lyn-Davie said. “The teachers and the administration involved with these students cared enough to invest their time for their students.”
The DA’s office hopes to gather information from students, because they are the source and the victims of bullying.
“Students participating in these contests provide an insight on bullying from a perspective that is unknown to us,” Falls said. “This is valuable information.”
“It’s personal,” Lyn-Davie said. “Bullying is personal for both the victim and the bully. The students have information that we do not have.”