The video starts out on the Morse Pond School playground, where a young boy stands near a group of girls jumping rope. A bully approaches, calls the boy a “sissy” and pushes him to the ground.
The song “Stand Up” by Sugarland begins to play. “Stand up, you boys and girl; stand up and use your voice,” a woman sings.
One after another, classrooms of students put down their work and stand up in unison. At the end, the whole student body, teachers and administrators are out on the playground “standing behind” the bullied child.
The young boy gets up and the group chants, “don’t stand by, stand up!”
The video celebrates the spirit of Falmouth schools’ “No Guff” week, which wraps up today.
The video, titled “This Bully Didn’t See This Coming”, is posted on YouTube.com and has already been viewed nearly 6,000 times.
At Tuesday night’s packed public hearing on the school budget, school committee chairman Judith Fenwick paused the three-and-a-half hour discussion and played the video on the high school auditorium’s projection screen. It has also been shown in every classroom in the school system.
The video was directed and produced by Morse Pond’s TEAM (Talented Eager and Motivated) teachers, Brian J. Switzer and Ann D. Goulart. It is their fifth year producing the annual “No Guff” video.
“We want the videos to be positive and have a good message, a strong message, not only for the kids and staff in it, but for the larger community beyond,” Mr. Switzer said yesterday.
Mr. Switzer was pleased to hear the video was shown at Tuesday night’s budget meeting. “We want it to have a life,” he said. “We’re putting it out there as a representation of us.”
The video was first shown Monday morning this week at Morse Pond’s “No Guff” assembly. Mr. Switzer and Ms. Goulart teach video production to Morse Pond 5th and 6th graders. But the students do not help produce the “No Guff” video, they said.
“We like to hide this one,” Mr. Switzer said. “We want that special first viewing” to be a group experience, he said.
“The kids really like it,” Mr. Switzer said. “But in some ways it’s more powerful for the adults.”
“The kids are proud of it, but the adults are moved by it,” Ms. Goulart said.
“It’s the adults that tell us they cry,” Mr. Switzer said.
Sixth grader Jordan W. Lane played the bullied young man in the video, and Hunter P. Mulvey played the bully who pushes Jordan over. The two students joined their teachers to talk about the video.
“It’s funny because he’s like my best friend,” said Jordan of Hunter.
Jordan said he just laughed the first several times Hunter pushed him down. It “took a while” and “many tries” before he could play the part with a straight face, he said.
“Yeah,” Hunter said. “It felt weird and not right to [push Jordan], but we knew we were acting.”
“It was so much fun, I love doing videos like this,” Jordan said.
“It’s an authentic learning experience,” Ms. Goulart said. “The kids can see they’re making a difference.”
The video was filmed in one day, January 17.
Previous years’ “No Guff” videos are available on YouTube as well, including 2011’s inspiring schoolwide production of the song “Lean on Me” titled “Morse Pond Lib Dub,” which has been viewed 21,500 times.