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?