North Adams Transcript
NORTH ADAMS -- Over the last few weeks, schools across Berkshire County have seen low numbers at their bullying-prevention programs for parents -- a trend the North Adams Public Schools hope to buck Wednesday by offering a diverse array of student-related programming at its presentation, including a six-minute "lip-dub" video produced by a trio of high school students.
"It’s a video where students are lip-synching to one of three songs, and it’s done in one continuous shot. There’s no editing," senior Kyle Peters, 18, the video’s director, said Monday. "The way we went at it, we saw it as a way to bring different groups in the school together and bolster school spirit."
Senior Dominic Wood, 17, said the project pulled together as many different groups and individuals as possible to lip-synch and dance in the video. The groups -- which included athletes, drama students and different classes -- dressed in uniforms or costumes for the video shoot and held posters promoting peace and respect.
"There was a lot that had to go right for us to do this," he said.
The video, which was shot last Thursday, was pulled together over a period of five weeks.
"We had a lot to organize -- a route through the school, what songs were going to be used and how to get all 350 students who participated into the auditorium for the final scene, senior Evan Schueckler, 17, said. "We had a great turnout, with a lot of students coming together to make this happen."
Peters added, "In the end, it wasn’t about completing the video for us, it was much more. You realized that you were part of something much bigger than your own small group of friends."
The video, which will debut on Wednesday, is part of the school district’s "Bullying Prevention and Internet Safety" presentation for parents, students and community members in the auditorium at Drury High School.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with an educational showcase gallery of interactive displays of student work promoting peace, community spirit and bullying prevention. Students from the city’s three elementary schools and the high school have created a variety of artwork, videos and games that will be on display.
"One of the goals was to have students involved in program with a themed project promoting prevention strategies," Anne French, the district’s adjustment councilor co-ordinator, said Monday. "It involves the students more intensely in the learning process."
At 6:30, the program will move from the high school’s lobby into the auditorium, where the winners of the district-wide student-produced public service announcement contest will be shown, followed by a scene from "Living with Lady Macbeth" by the Drury Drama Team.
Meghan McCoy, program coordinator from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University will present current information about bullying and cyberbullying.
"While the new bullying prevention law requires schools to host a parent presentation, I think parents can take a lot away from Meghan’s presentation," French said. "One of the points she makes very clear is that in today’s society, the kids who are the bullies are most often the kids with status -- the popular kids. There’s a generation out there that still believes bullies are the bad kids on the playground. It’s a different world out there today."
She said the evening also will be an eye-opener for some parents.
"They need to learn about the law. They need to learn about how behavior on the Internet is a big factor in today’s bullying. Kids don’t disconnect. Some parents don’t understand that cell phones are computers," French said. "They’ll also find out the best way to work with the schools and what resources are available."
Bus transportation will be provided to and from Drury High School. A bus will leave Greylock Elementary School at 5:35 p.m. and Brayton Elementary School at 5:45 p.m. The bus will return riders after the program. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For more information about bullying prevention and intervention programs in North Adams Public Schools, contact Anne French at (413) 662-3240, ext. 1204 or e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.napsk12.org/bullying-prevention.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau,