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NEWPORT BEACH TEEN WINS ANTI-BULLYING CONTEST

Sarah HostetlerPublished: February, 2013

Molly McWhertor
Molly McWhertor of Ensign Intermediate School won for her ‘Words Hurt’ video

Phoenix-based nonprofit The Be Kind People Project has help bring spread the word among local kids nation-wide improvements on the educational environment for both teachers and students, names eighth grader Molly McWhertor grand-prize winner of its national It’s Cool 2B Creative Contest.

This Newport Beach student submitted a 2-minute video entitled "Words Hurt," that highlights the effects that words can have, both good and bad.

“I decided to participate in the It’s Cool 2B Creative Contest because its important to me to help other kids and show them how hurtful words can be,” said McWhertor. “You can’t judge someone based on how they are at school.  You have to understand their point of view and where they’re coming from. They may be dealing with very difficult situations in their personal lives.”

The video opens to footage of McWhertor and her peers holding hand-written signs bearing insulting words like loser, stupid, freak and ugly. Then, after showing several students explaining the painful effects of bullying on others, the words “Nothing good comes of being mean. So instead lets pledge to be …” flashes on the screen. You then see the same girls holding up new signs with words like encourage, supportive, positive, helpful, considerate, thankful and respectful, representing the core principals of the Be Kind People Project. (Watch the video here).

“We played Molly’s video for all of the 1,100 students in our school,” said Kari Rush, McWhertor’s teacher at Ensign Intermediate School. “We also used it as the centerpiece of a school wide lesson highlighting the power of words to lift us up or tear us down. The staff, teachers and all of the kids loved it. Everybody rallied behind this important message.”

Rush among many others was very impressed by Molly’s dedication to end bullying.

McWhertor feels that her message has made an impact since her video was shown to the school. “Now, even my friends are being way nicer. They understand that bullies hurt everyone, including themselves. Why do it if nothing good comes of it?”

On February 26, The Be Kind People Project will hold its signature It’s Cool 2B Kind assembly at Ensign Intermediate School in Newport Beach, in honor of Molly. The principal, teacher and students will be presented prizes at the event where Molly will receive a $1,000 grant for her school.
 

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