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Lauren Seager-Smith is a National Coordinator for the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA). With Anti-Bullying Week (14-18 November) approaching, Lauren looks at their 2016 theme 'Power for Good' and how film can help inspire children, teachers and parents to use their power to change lives for the better.
We're also thrilled to be working with ABA at the 2016 Into Film Festival, with our festival strand Words Can Hurt encompassing themes of wellbeing - including stories with anti-bullying messages.
The world seems to be changing so quickly, with national and global events leaving many of us feeling small and afraid. You might have asked yourself what difference you can possibly make as just one person and wondered whether your life is of any significance at all. You may be tired of all the noise, and be tempted to retreat into your safe space, into your shell. The very strange thing about life is that it appears we are of no significance on the one hand and of the utmost significance on the other. The world has been blessed, broken, divided and united all at the hand of individuals.
This matters when it comes to bullying. Those of you who have experienced or witnessed bullying - which is a great many of us - will know that one person can have the power to make or break your day. In a moment, someone can make you feel as if you are worth nothing, or as if you are worth everything. One person can plunge you into darkness, but vitally, someone else can hold out a hand and pull you back into the light.
Film is a wonderful way to explore the power of individuals to change lives, whether based on real life or fiction.Lauren Seager-Smith, Anti-Bullying Alliance
Anti-Bullying Week in England is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and takes place from the 14-18 November. This year the theme is 'Power for Good' and through the week we aim to inspire children, teachers and parents to use their power to change lives for the better.
Firstly we need to address our own individual power - and the ways in which we use or abuse it. We then need to consider how we utilise whatever power we have - even if it feels very small, to stand up for those who are abused and hurting in our schools, communities and online. For a child this might be about ways you can support another child who seems lonely or scared - perhaps through a kind word or gesture. For a teacher it could be the way in which you promote respect in your classroom - for example by taking a consistent stand against offensive language. For a parent it might be about how you influence the way your child sees other people - particularly those who have a different background or lifestyle to your own family. For each and every one of us it is about how we choose to respond to others moment by moment, day by day. You may be the one person that makes all the difference.
Film is a wonderful way to explore the power of individuals to change lives, whether based on real life or fiction. Some personal favourites that come to mind include Matilda, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Schindler's List, The Hunger Games and Erin Brockovich. The Anti-Bullying Alliance is delighted to work with Into Film and the Into Film Festival this Anti-Bullying Week to provide schools with resources to use film to explore issues relating to bullying, power and personal responsibility.
This resource supported the anti-bullying Heroes strand at the Into Film Festival 2015.
Activities to support engagement, debate and reflection alongside a screening from the Words Can Hurt strand.
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