Reporting Rachel Slavik
EDINA, Minn. (WCCO) – Bullying in schools is an issue that keeps getting a lot of attention. One Edina teen dedicated his senior year to bully prevention and he’s taking an approach that leaves most adults out of the conversation.
With the simple click of the mouse, Alec Fischer is tackling an issue found in nearly every high school.
“As a kid, being bullied, you don’t want to tell anyone, because you don’t want it to get worse,” said 18-year-old filmmaker Fischer.
His motivation to address bullying comes from his own experience. In middle school, Alec was a target of daily ridicule from his classmates.
“For me, it was hard to deal with because I had to experience it every single day and hear those words from different people all day,” said Fischer.
He now realizes the only way to stop the problem is to address it. Over the last six months, he created a 45-minute movie which includes real-life stories from those who’ve suffered.
“You could tell they were telling you, honestly, what is happening. It made it so much more real,” said Fischer.
With his handheld camera, he interviewed students all over the state. He found stories that touched on emotional, physical, even cyber-bullying.
“It was very difficult, having to compose yourself and listening to someone talk about their little sister committing suicide,” said Fischer.
When he finally started the editing process, Fischer had 35 hours of video. There were days when he would have to edit for 12 hours. On Friday, the reward for his work came when hundreds of students viewed the film at the Edina Cinema.
“When I showed it at Edina, I had kids coming up to me that I didn’t even know, bawling, saying ‘I was moved by the film,’” said Fischer.
He says he’s already getting interest from other schools to use the film for bullying education programs. To learn more about future screenings, check out the movie’s Facebook page.