Posts Tagged ‘Viral’

The Most Effective Anti-Smoking Ad Ever Conceived

June 22, 2012



Pure genius! Getting children to ask smokers for a light is a brilliant way to sell the anti-smoking message:

It has been labelled “heartbreaking” and one of the most effective anti-smoking advertisements ever.

The new public service announcement from Thailand shows two small children approaching adults who are smoking and asking them for a light.

Not one of the adults shown in the ad gives the children what they ask for.

Instead the adults — who have no idea they are being set up — begin giving the children earnest lectures on why smoking is so bad for them.

“If you smoke you die faster,” one man tells a little boy.

“Don’t you want to live and play?”

“When you smoke you suffer from lung cancer, emphysema and strokes,” another says.

The children then reveal their trump card, a brochure they hand the adults which reads: “You worry about me. But why not about yourself?”

The video, produced by the agency Ogilvy Thailand on behalf of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, was uploaded to YouTube a week ago and has since gone viral, attracting more than 350,000 views.

The foundation has reported a 40 percent increase in the number of calls it has received about how to stop smoking.

Video of a Bus Monitor Being Bullied by Middle School Children Goes Viral

June 22, 2012

I’m sick of reading excuses for why a bus full of middle school children acted in a most deplorable way to their bus monitor. There are no excuses for such vile behavior. I don’t care what age you are, you have a responsibility to be a good citizen and decent person. It sickens me to see a pack bullying situation where a soft target is exposed and then tormented without any resistance whatsoever.

Explanations like this are both unhelpful and insensitive to poor bus monitor, Karen Klein:

When kids reach middle school, bullying becomes more common and more sophisticated, experts says.

“Middle school-age kids are sort of an age group that is notorious for an uptick in the intensity of bullying,” said Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist in New York and TODAY contributor.

During the middle school years, kids are facing intense peer pressure, the pack mentality is strong and kids feel a growing sense of independence – all while their moral compasses are still developing, she said.

“It’s a time when they’re figuring out who they are by sometimes crossing the line and breaking the rules,” Saltz says. “Their insecurity drives a lot of cliquishness and defining themselves as better by making someone else feel worse.”

Don’t even try to excuse this behaviour in any way based on the age of the perpetrators. This is a culture problem. The parents of these children need to do as much soul-searching as the children themselves.

I am saddened to hear about the families of the students getting death threats. What kind of response is that? What is the sense in dealing with bullying by continuing the chain of bullying? This is isn’t even about a bus full of children. This has even wider implications.

Middle school children worldwide should be put on notice. No more excuses. I don’t care how old you are. It’s time to grow up and treat others with respect!

The Teacher They Haven’t Sacked, But Should

February 9, 2012

Call me a prude but I am of the opinion that when you sign up to be a teacher you are making a commitment to act with a greater degree of responsibility than most other professions. Whilst it may perfectly alright for a tradesman or receptionist to have a double life as a porn star, a high school teacher should know better and act better.

What makes this story worse is that this teacher was filmed with a former student. I find it unsavoury for teachers to hook up with their former students at the best of times. To make a porn video with them just adds another layer to what is a clear breach of standard teaching protocol.

Or is it?

The graphic video of the teacher and the student, who graduated in 2008, went viral on social media websites after students discovered it.

A preview video shows the couple naked, in sex acts, and with the girl blindfolded.

The ex-student explained yesterday that everyone who knew them understood the couple were in a committed relationship. The couple live together and jointly own a business.

“We’re consenting adults,” she said.

Oberon High School principal Alison Murphy said she took immediate action when she became aware of the video on Tuesday, but said the video did not change her view of the “successful” VCE teacher.

“He is not here today. It’s uncertain when he will return,” she said. “The matter is under investigation.”

She said the teacher was “well regarded”.

Ms Murphy said it would be inappropriate to suspend the teacher until investigations were completed.

Could someone please explain to me why it would be inappropriate to suspend the teacher?

YouTube Turns Bullied Teen into a Hero

December 11, 2011

There is a simple reason why the video confessional of a bully victim goes viral overnight. The amount of children bullied around the world is horrifying. Clips like the one made by Jonah Mowry certainly cuts at a raw nerve.

A bullied 14-year-old has stood up for himself in an online video – and has become a national icon.

Jonah Mowry’s heart wrenching video was made at 4 a.m. It starts out simply as a teenage boy telling us his name, but it quickly turns into an emotional confession.

With tears in his eyes, Mowry tells people watching that he’s been bullied since the first grade because he is gay.

The video was made in August before Jonah started school and in the video he says he’s not ready to go back because he’s scared the bullying will continue.

The video might have remained buried on YouTube, but last week, Perez Hilton blogged about it and then it went viral.

The video has now been viewed more than 7.4 million times.

Jonah got tweets of support from celebrities like Nick Jonas, Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Lynch and anti-bullying crusader Lady Gaga.

On Friday, Jonah appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America”. He told those watching that if you’re being bullied, don’t be afraid to tell someone.

“You need to tell your parents, even if it will make it worse maybe. You need to tell someone because keeping it in just makes it a lot harder. If you tell someone, it’s a big weight lifted off your shoulders,” said Mowry.

Jonah says once his story became a viral sensation, he was called into the principal’s office.

“He told me if anything happens, that he’ll do his best to make sure it doesn’t happen again. So, when I came back to school, everyone was very supportive and very welcoming and nice,” Mowry said.

His final message to other kids being bullied is that it will get better. You can be happy. You just have to try.

The positive ending to his message will prove extremely heartening to victims of bullying who can see no end to the constant persecution in sight.

The Use of Video in Education

March 31, 2011

Attached is a wonderful clip of presentation given by Salman Khan.  Salman started making YouTube tutorial clips for his cousins interstate.  Not only did his cousins benefit from the online video tutorials but so did thousands of others across the globe.  He talks about how he quit his high paying job to develop online lessons that were easy to follow, interactive and humorous.  Soon his Khan Academy programs became a hit with teachers, changing the way maths is taught in class and helping to make homework more enjoyable.

Whilst I am not a convert to the style of teaching he is advocating, I find his approach quite fascinating.

What do you think?

Fighting Bullying Through Letter Writing Wont Work

March 30, 2011

After a recent speight of bullying incidents, the New Zealand Government has kicked into gear by …. writing letters to schools!

The letters, to be written by Education Minister Anne Tolley, will demand for schools to become tough on policing and preventing bullying.

What caused the need for such a response (albeit a lame one)?

This month, two teenagers were taken to hospital after schoolyard attacks. On March 8, a 15-year-old girl was punched and kicked as she walked home from Wanganui Girls’ College.

She was hospitalised and said the attack had left her unconscious, bleeding from the ears and with extensive bruising. The assault was filmed.

Also this month, a teenager was hospitalised after being beaten in another schoolyard fight.

The attack on the Lynfield College, Auckland, student was filmed on a cellphone and shared.

Whilst I find bystanders who film acts of bullying instead of intervening extremely upsetting, it seems that video evidence is the only successful device for waking Governments (as well as some schools) up to the realties of their inert response to this very serious issue.  If the Casey “Body Slam” incident had not been filmed, his school would still arguably be hiding from its responsibilities today.

Will writing letters work?  Of course not!

Mr Shearer (Labor MP) said tough action was needed not letter writing.

“John Key(Prime Minister) has a clear pattern of behaviour – he raises hopes high that he is going to fix things, and then comes up with wet solutions that don’t help at all.

Writing to schools about bullying is a good way of saying he is worried about the issue but a useless way of making a difference,” Mr Shearer said.

“If they want to get rid of bullying they will have to take on some tough and complex problems – including getting tougher on intervening with the families of bad kids and with bad parents.

“The Government has to start intervening in the huge gap between haves and have not’s in the education system, instead of making it worse. And the Government has to support anti-violence campaigns in the community instead of cancelling them to pay for high income tax cuts.”

In my opinion, schools that are failing to curb bullying, should be assessed and made to comply with the resulting recommendations.  If they don’t, the Government should strip them of their funding.

A school that doesn’t take a proactive and emphatic stance on bullies and schoolyard bullying, doesn’t deserve a cent of taxpayers money!

Bullied Hero Speaks

March 21, 2011

Last week I wrote a post about Casey Heynes, the Australian boy who was caught on tape defending himself against a bully.  In a graphic show of what seems to be a completely unprovoked attack, the bully is seen striking Casey with a fist to the jaw.  Casey then responds with the now infamous body slam.  I devoted the post to criticising the school’s response to the incident (It turns out that the child that filmed the video did in fact get suspended too).

So big was the news, and so divided was people’s reaction to Casey’s show of self-defense, that A Current Affair got a 1-on-1 interview with Casey:

The schoolboy who’s become an internet sensation after turning the tables on a bully has told how he snapped after years of cruel taunts about his weight.

Casey Heynes, 16, says he has been bullied nearly every day at his school, Chifley College, at St Marys, but could take no more when Year 7 student Ritchard Gale tormented and attacked him last Monday.

“All I was doing was defending myself. I’ve never had so much support,” he said during an interview with A Current Affair.

Casey reveals he’d been targeted by a new group of Year 7 boys who had started picking on him and teasing him about two weeks prior to the fight.

The Year 10 student said he was surrounded by the students when he went to get a school timetable before class.

As Ritchard backed him against the wall and started throwing punches, Casey said he felt scared and worried that others in the group would also start hitting him.

Eventually, he snapped, picking Ritchard up over his shoulder and throwing him to the ground.

The brawl was recorded on the mobile phone of another student who later posted the video online where he has earned “hero” status.

Asked if he was a superhero, he laughed and said: “No I wish I was.”

The video, which was taken off YouTube on Tuesday, has gone viral worldwide spawning dozens of websites and facebook pages congratulating Casey for fighting back.

It also sparked a media storm with St Marys residents claiming television stations were offering up to $1000 for information about the fight.

Yesterday, Ritchard was unrepentant. Asked whether he was sorry for attacking Casey, he bluntly replied: “No.”

The issue has divided the western Sydney community.

“Good on him. I was so happy to see a bully finally getting what he deserved,” one St Marys resident said.

“I don’t condone violence but when kids stage an attack like that and record it to humiliate the victim it’s wrong.”

But another resident Jayne Saunders said: “He could have broken that little kid’s neck.”

He explained that this wasn’t a one-off incident and he has been taunted for 3 years:

Casey said his outburst was a “build-up” of more than three years of being attacked verbally and physically by other students.

“They used to slap me on the back of the head and said I was a fatty and to lose some weight.

“I’ve been duct taped to a pole before as well. They target me because I don’t retaliate.

“I’ve never reacted that way before but everything built up inside me for three years…I just had enough. All I wanted is for it to stop.”

I am very disappointed that the bully is unrepentant. I would have thought that this saga would have taught him the lesson he needed to learn. Whilst I in no way condone violence of any kind, what rational human person can blame Casey for snapping? Yes Ritchard’s injury could have been a lot worse, and there is a concern that there will be copycat incidents because of the hype around this case. But I can’t help but go back to my original argument.

What is a child supposed to do when they are being taped to polls and there doesn’t seem to be anything done to protect them? I am glad that Casey feels more confident as a result of his new-found fame. But perhaps, the real story is not about Casey. Perhaps the real story is about all those kids who continue to be bullied without adequate intervention by their schools.

Wake Up Schools: You’ve Got a Bullying Problem

March 17, 2011

Whilst anti-bullying programs and policies have their place, the epidemic known as schoolyard bullying is on the rise, and the measures for counteracting it is pathetic at best.  Schools must take responsibility for their culture and must ensure that the safety of their students is paramount.  I can’t believe that incidents like the infamous NSW “body slam” incident, which has now become an internet sensation is allowed to take place at our schools.

THERE are only so many times you can try to turn the other cheek.

A Sydney schoolboy has become an internet sensation after video emerged of him body-slamming another student during a verbal and physical attack.

The year 10 boy – who pleaded with his tormenter to leave him alone – picked up his attacker and slammed him to the ground.

The teenager, said to have been bullied all his school life, was taunted and punched by a younger, smaller boy.

The victim took a hit to the face and then more blows as the year 7 boy goaded him to fight.

Suddenly the boy had had enough. He launched himself at his attacker, picked him up and threw him to the ground.

The younger boy staggered away, stunned and hurt.

Both students were suspended for four days after the incident which took place on Monday.

How can you justify punishing the victim with the very same punishment as the bully?

How can you let the kids filming and commentating from the sidelines go unpunished?  Talk about enablers!

How can the school not accept some of the blame for the lack of adequate supervision and providing an environment where such bullying exists.  If the film hadn’t been shot, there probably wouldn’t have been any punishments.  How can this happen in an age where there is a higher level of bullying awareness?

Below is the link to the video.  I must warn you it is not for the squeamish.

Suspended for 4 days?  Seriously?  The school should have closed down for 4 days, and made to use that time to reflect on its core values.

%d bloggers like this: