Video causes students to think about bullying

Katie Linsey, reporter

It’s been shared on Facebook, re-tweeted on Twitter and even talked about in the news.

Four months ago, 14-year-old Californian Jonah Mowry posted a video on YouTube holding up a sequence of notecards sharing his many encounters he’s had with bullying since first grade, due to his sexuality. With Sia’s “Breathe Me” playing in the background, Mowry explains his past that consisted of cutting himself, and considering suicide.

In the video, Mowry pronounces that he can’t deal with the bullying anymore.

“I can’t do this anymore, I’m tired of being torn down and building myself up to only be torn down again,” Mowry said.

Many students have admitted to feeling the same way as Mowry after watching his video.

“I was once where he was. I was thinking about attempting [to take] my life several times from fourth to seventh grade as a result of being bullied and feeling alone,” junior Kelsey Winscott said.

Sophomore Caroline Peters empathizes with the self-harming aspect of the video.

“I felt like I could really relate to him,” Peters said. “It didn’t make me cry, but I definitely felt where the kid was coming from and it made me upset.”

Many people have created response videos explaining their personal struggles, including sophomore Alex Lauderdale.

“When I was on Facebook, I saw people commenting on the video saying it was fake and I was thinking, why would you say that?,” Lauderdale said. “It made me angry and I figured they would take it seriously if it was someone from their own school.”

Mowry’s video also inspired freshman Hunter Bessey to create a response video.

“I experience the same things Jonah went through that he mentioned in the video,” Bessey said. “When I saw the video, it really got me, so I decided to make my own.”

Lauderdale hopes to contribute to change in the school regarding bullying.

“I hope to see students not judging others and stopping the name calling,” Lauderdale said. “It’s inappropriate and not mature. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”

One of Lauderdale’s best friends, sophomore Grace Rittenhouse, was proud to see her friend post the video.

“I thought she was very brave and I was happy that the Jonah video gave her the courage to post it,” Rittenhouse said.

Sophomore Alina Le created a Facebook page called “A Million Reasons” in attempt to start a club to help prevent bullying.

“I want MV to face a challenge head on and show that this generation can make a difference,” Le said. “I’m looking for a chance that makes a difference between risking a life and being a part of someone’s life.”

Freshman Hannah Hilton wants to help make a difference as well.

“I’d like people to realize that harming yourself isn’t going to make anything better,” Hilton said. “Even though there might be bad things going on now, everything will eventually get better.”

Towards the end of Mowry’s video, he explains that despite all of the hurt he is feeling, he isn’t giving up.

“…but I’m not going anywhere because I’m stronger than that and I have a million reasons to be here,” Mowry said.

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