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Teen suspended for speaking up against bullies

Jessica Barba, a freshman at Longwood High School in Middle Island, NY, created a video as part of a school project about an important issue.  The video (and a FB page) told the story of a fictional 12-year-old girl who killed herself after being bullied. After Jessica posted it on YouTube, the vid generated a lot of buzz from her classmates. And the discussion she inspired got her suspended from school for five days.



The video and the Facebook page documented the life of a character, Hailey, who was suffered at the hands of her family and peers. Both pieces of the project had disclaimers that made is clear “Hailey” was fictional, but that didn’t stop a concerned parent who saw a posting on Facebook that said, “I wanna be dead.” The parent called the police, the police called the school and the school called Jessica to the principal’s office. The result? Suspension from school.


Watch the video below…


Jessica and her parents appealed the decision and the 15-year-old has now returned to school. The suspension has been removed from her record and all appears to be well, but we’re still bothered by the snap decision made by the school. What do you think? Should Jessica be punished for starting an anti-bullying movement, or should her effort be applauded?

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 5/28/2012 12:00:00 AM


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