Three Penns Valley seniors were honored Monday at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg for producing the winning video of the second annual “Talk to Your Senator” contest, which highlights school safety and ways to combat violence in Pennsylvania schools among middle and high school students.
Isabella Culver, Emma Narber and Kyle Tressler made the video through their PVMedia class, taught by Michael Farley. The students will receive a $2,500 award split between each of their 529 college savings program accounts for winning the contest in the high school category.
“The video paints a powerful picture of bullying and violence in our schools and calls on their peers to be the generation that ends school violence,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, said in an address to the Senate on Monday. “In their video, these students offer concrete ideas and examples of how to make a difference in the schools (and) encourage students to see what is going on around them. Their message of #Iseeyou is powerful and I’m thankful they chose to get involved in creating this video.”
The video depicts a high school student getting bullied regularly who eventually decides to fire a gun in the hallway, forcing students to hide in a darkened classroom.
“While the bullying in this video is easily seen, violence among students, more than not, goes easily unnoticed,” says a student addressing the camera.
Several other students in the video share that much of bullying nowadays takes place on social media or via the internet. They encourage viewers to “find the courage to show someone that you care,” and the video ends with the students who had once bullied or ignored the violent student comforting and talking with him.
Farley said the trio was inspired to make the video because they recognized how important the topic is and the need to address it on a schoolwide level.
“They appreciate the community aspect of our school and recognize that they, as students, have to be the ones to reach out to each other to make sure everyone feels connected and included,” he wrote in an email.