I Witness Bullying recently released a trailer for their I Am A Witness campaign. The video, made by Moonbot Studios (famous for Oscar-winning short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore) features a student named Jack, who has to deal with bullies at school, after school, and online. When others on the internet see Jack being bullied, they send him messages of encouragement alongside an emoji that looks like a speech bubble with a pupil.
The tagline in the video says “When you see bullying, use this emoji to do something about it.”
While I can see some calling the emoji passive or not really doing anything, I have to disagree. The emoji is a starting point, and the project doesn’t try and argue that sending an emoji will automatically make everything better. Rather, it’s a small gesture that says “Hey, I see what this bully is saying, I recognize that it’s not ok, and I want you to know that you’re not alone.” While you can say those things anyway, there’s something about having a larger group and movement behind you that makes it more powerful. Here’s part of their mission statement:
I Am A Witness aims to stop bullying by activating the “silent majority” of kids who witness it each day, transforming them from passive bystanders into an active collective that speak up against bullying.
The website also includes a segment that provides various situations, like harassment in the comment section, in video games, or other situations that recommend additional actions like reporting threats to a site admin, an adult, or even the police. They also include various resources including the Crisis Text Line, 121Help.me, Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center, and more for LGBTQ+ youth, elementary students, and teenagers.
The I Am A Witness campaign also features Youtube stars (Grace Helbig, Lizzy Velásquez, and more) reading some of their most hurtful comments and talking about the importance of being a non-silent witness, and it’s worth watching.
You can learn more about I Am A Witness and get the emoji here. What do you think about the campaign?
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