Bullying in the school system has resulted in countless suicides, anguish and turmoil. One brave student made an anti-bullying video after one of her classmates committed suicide. The video has garnered 760,000 views with countless people in the comment section supporting her actions. Everyone seemed to applaud the video — except for her school’s faculty.
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Emily Gipson created the video “Welcome to Lebanon High School” on January 22. The 16-year-old, who goes to the school, was stunned to find her video had earned her a two-day suspension.
The school’s administration informed her that her video was “trying to incite violence.” In the video, Gipson simply asked other students to be kinder to one another. One of her classmates, Allie Johnson, committed suicide after being bullied last year, according to Fox News.
Gipson criticized the administration’s handling of her classmate’s death. “Posters say ‘Smile’ and ‘Be happy,’ but how am I supposed to be happy in a world — no, in a community — where creativity is put down, where the people who make fun of others never get punished because ‘There’s no proof,’ or ‘There’s nothing we can do about it,’ or, my favorite, ‘Kids will be kids,'” the suspended teen said.
Gibson feels that schools and administrations don’t do all they could do to stop bullying and create an environment where bullying can thrive. “I’ve seen problems with bullying, problems with bullying not being dealt with, and I feel like some things are just put aside,” Gipson explained to News 4.
She added, “It’s not just about Lebanon,” Gipson said. “It’s about everywhere because everywhere does have these problems. Anywhere I can make a difference I’d love to.”
The principal of Lebanon High School, Scott Walters, claimed that the video hurt the feelings of the staff, including himself. Walters claimed the punishment also had to do with filming the video inside one of the school’s classrooms without permission. INSIDER reported Gipson said she was given permission by two of her teachers to film the classroom.
Principal Walters also indicated that the teenager’s perception of the problem would naturally be different from his. “I can appreciate the perspective of the video,” Walters said. “Of course, she’s 16, and her perspective is going to be different from mine.”
Gipson has told various news outlets that she does not regret making the video.