DA’s for a Day: Students at P.S 186 win Anti-bullying video contest

November 20, 2012 Editorial Staff
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Surrounded by the eight proud winners of the 2012 Anti-bullying video contest, Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes stood tall on Monday morning and presented each of them with a plaque with their names on it with their parents and teachers present to applaud their achievement.

Hynes honored the fourth and fifth graders who in two separate videos showed either how to cope with the frustration of being bullied, or who simulated a scenario of one girl being bullied by her two classmates, until “Super Nice Guy,” shows up with his red cape to rescue her.

“I like to sing,” said Fiona Kocillari. “I play the piano,” exclaimed Willis Tran in the video they produced as a way to release stress creatively.

“I feel bad,” added 11-year-old Kocillari. “I want to help them understand and show them that it actually is hurting someone’s feelings. Maybe they can get a lesson out of it.”

The students who made the two winning videos are from P.S 186, 7601 19th Avenue. Six of them have graduated since the videos were created, and came back to receive the awards.

Anaiah Rivera, one of the recipients, was a victim of bullying. She was picked on because of her acne until one day she stood up for herself, and asked the bully to stop. “I stuck up for myself,” Rivera explained, “and she stopped and became my friend.”

Tran also had a close brush with bullying; one of his classmates threw food at him, so his quickest solution to the problem was to tell a secretary, who brought the child to her office and made him stop.

“I am so proud,” said Donna Neglia, P.S. 186’s assistant principal. “Everything you saw came from them; their words can now go on the news and help spread the word.”

From 2:20 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. from Monday through Friday for a couple of months, the students worked on their videos as part of their after-school program; they can at a later date act as “DA’s for the Day,” and spend the whole day with Hynes, attending meetings and conferences.

“Bullying is an all too common experience,” stated Hynes. “As a father of five and grandfather to 16, it is troubling.” He explained that a child who has been a victim of bullying is six times more likely to be involved in criminal activity by the age of 24.

“The solution isn’t punishment,” he continued, saying that his goal as district attorney has been to educate students and the communitysaying that his goal as district attorney has been to educate students and the community about the consequences involved.

“Our hope is to raise the consciousness of not only children, but teachers, administrators and parents to the reality of bullying and how each one of them has got to step up and be a part of solving this terrible problem,” Hynes added. “The contest was an effort to curb bullying.”

The Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator were media sponsors of the competition. The winning videos can be viewed on the papers’ website, www.homereporter.com. The winning students will receive cash prizes provided by New York Community Bank/Roosevelt Savings Bank.

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