SURF Board launches anti-bullying campaign

By Kelsey Ichikawa | Features Editor

On October 20, 2014, SURF Board hosted a free showing of the movie “Bully” in Valhalla and also announced its first ever anti-bullying video contest.  SURF will also be sending representatives from Fremont Unified School District to an anti-bullying conference in November.

According to SURF Board member Andrea You, 15 people attended the showing of “Bully,” including FUSD superintendent Dr. James Morris and Fremont mayor Bill Harrison.

“SURF’s short term goals for the anti-bullying campaign include showing the movie, ‘Bully,’ in all high schools,” said You, “as well as an anti-bullying video contest for K-12th grade students to submit short movies on the impacts of bullying and how to prevent bullying.”

The video contest continues until February and consists of three categories based on grade level.  Videos must be less than five minutes long, and possible prizes include a pizza party, money, and the privilege of having one’s video shown in other schools.

Dr. Morris brought the idea for the video contest to SURF, which then organized it.  “If it is successful, we hope to make it an annual event and implement it into every school,” said You.

According to SURF Board member Narvan Babaei, a few Fremont students will also be attending the 11th Annual International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA) Conference in San Diego from November 16 to 18.

“Nationally recognized leaders will provide research, strategies, and solutions for schools and communities in bullying prevention,” announced State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “This year’s IBPA Conference speaks directly to the purpose of building relationships among school staff and community organizations to strengthen the voice against bullying.”

The Fremont conference attendees will collect information and bring back new anti-bullying strategies to test out in FUSD.

“We understand that bullying in schools cannot be stopped,” said You, “but if students are taught the consequences of their actions, it will serve as a step towards making school a safer place.”

anti-bullying pic

Caption: The acclaimed documentary “Bully” was shown as part of SURF’s anti-bullying campaign.