Jonah and his family moved to Chicago from Ireland when he was in elementary school, and he was the youngest and the shortest in his class. In fifth grade, Jonah was playing basketball during school with some kids who were mean and he realized, “I don’t want to hang out with these kids anymore.” After several years of experiencing and witnessing bullying, he started thinking about how bullying affects kids and schools.
Jonah is “really big into film,” and it doesn’t hurt that his dad is a filmmaker and his mom is a dance instructor. Friends from school and his dance class shared some of their bullying experiences by anonymously writing their stories on strips of paper. Jonah took those home and started creating a script from those experiences and his own.
This video demonstrates the impact of bullying on everyone because, as Jonah says, “If you are not part of the solution, you can still be part of the problem.” It also draws attention to cyberbullying, in which the kids who bully others are often faceless. It shows that anyone can participate in bullying behavior, and that the experience is very frightening.
Jonah really believes kids are getting it. He believes this video is making an impact on students from all over the Chicago area and beyond- it has reached Ireland, UK, Australia, and Indonesia. Since creating the video, there have been more than 540,000 views. Schools are showing the film in gym and health classes, and coaches are showing it to their teams. Jonah’s mother is in awe at how much support they have gotten.
Go ahead and share this film! We want everyone to see it.