Students at Holland ISD are taking a stand against bullying, and they have the video to prove it.
Directed and inspired by students at all grade levels, the video follows the story of two students who felt left out and alone before they moved to Holland. Then it transitions to a class welcoming and accepting them to the school, and before you know it, everyone is dancing to Taylor Swift’s lead single “Shake It Off.” [Watch the video.]
As a part of the Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) Cycle 8 Grant provided by Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12, Holland ISD and seven other school districts entered a contest to create video for National Bullying Prevention Month in October, and Holland’s entry received first place honors for its thoughtful and fun submission.
“Bullying is something we want to stand up to (or shake off) in Holland, but I also want our students to understand the importance of what it is to be respectful to everyone,” said Megan Gersbach, ACE site coordinator Holland ISD. “Our motto on the leadership team is ‘universal respect,’ and we wanted this video to speak to parents, as well as the students.”
Gersbach, who also filmed and edited the video, posted it to her Holland ISD ACE Facebook Page in mid-December. Fans of her page shared the video 78 times hitting a record 10,748 news feeds on Facebook. (via Facebook Insights) Comments on Facebook captured the social impact of the video:
- “WOW. I love this. The kids did a fantastic job!!! So proud of Holland for doing this.”
- “Such a beautiful and emotional video!”
- “I love my little town and BIG things that happen here!! Awesome job HISD.”
- “Now, this is a town open to the fight against bullying! Kudos to Holland, Texas ISD!”
To recognize the first place winner, staff from ESC Region 12 and Holland ISD will hold an assembly at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 14. Students will view the video, and ESC Region 12 staff will encourage their efforts to end bullying by surprising them with an ice cream party.
The unexpected viral reach of the video also highlights the influence of social media and its role in preventing or stopping the spread of bullying.
“It has reached almost more people than we have in our town,” Gersbach said. “So it has opened up some conversations about how quickly things spread on social media and the impact that has on bullying too.”