16-year-old suspended after anti-bullying video goes viral - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

16-year-old suspended after anti-bullying video goes viral

Posted: Updated:
Photo courtesy of YouTube Photo courtesy of YouTube

LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee high school student's anti-bullying video has resulted in nearly 600,000 views on YouTube and a suspension for its creator.

Lebanon High School student Emily Gipson said school administrators accused her of "trying to incite violence" and gave her a two-day in-school suspension for the video entitled "Welcome to Lebanon High School," posted Jan. 22.

In the video, prompted by a classmate's October suicide, she asks students to treat each other better.

"Welcome to Lebanon High School, where smiles are fake and suicide prevention is something to laugh at," she said in the video, criticizing her peers' reaction to the Stop It app the Wilson County school had put out in response to the death.

Her ire was not restricted to students, however. Perhaps the harshest words in Gipson's free-verse speech were reserved for school administration.

"Posters say 'Smile' and 'Be happy,' but how am I supposed to be happy in a world - no, in a community - where creativity is put down, where the people who make fun of others never get punished because 'There's no proof,' or 'There's nothing we can do about it,' or, my favorite, 'Kids will be kids,'" she says in the video.

"So let's summarize: We're expected to come to this emotional prison every day, and we're expected to forgive the bullies because the authorities are sure they didn't mean it. Sometimes I wonder how many kids it takes dying to make a difference."

Gipson's video is a broad indictment of campus culture but contains neither profanity nor calls for direct action, let alone violence.

Principal Scott Walters told The Lebanon Democrat he can't discuss the 16-year-old's punishment, but said he took issue with the fact that the free-verse speech was recorded in a classroom without a teacher's permission. Gipson disputed that, saying she had two coaches' permission.

Walters also said the video hurt his feelings, and those of teachers, too.

He said he's received feedback from parents and students who didn't agree with the video, including a gift from a student who told him he was doing a good job. He also said people could learn from Gipson's viewpoint.

"I can appreciate the perspective of the video," Walters said. "Of course, she's 16, and her perspective is going to be different from mine."

Gipson says the punishment is worth the good she feels the video has produced.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
  • NewsMore>>

  • For the first time, Facebook spells out what it forbids

    For the first time, Facebook spells out what it forbids

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:46 AM EDT2018-04-24 09:46:06 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 8:36 AM EDT2018-04-24 12:36:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. For the first time, Facebook is making public, on Tuesday, April 24, its detailed gu...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. For the first time, Facebook is making public, on Tuesday, April 24, its detailed gu...
    For the first time, Facebook spells out how it decides whether to delete your posts.More
    For the first time, Facebook spells out how it decides whether to delete your posts.More
  • Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 3:56 AM EDT2018-04-24 07:56:11 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 8:30 AM EDT2018-04-24 12:30:43 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...(AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More
  • What the Tech? App of the day Worktime

    What the Tech? App of the day Worktime

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 8:11 AM EDT2018-04-24 12:11:16 GMT
    If you're like most people with a desk job, your smartphone sits on your desk for the entire day. Why not use it when you're not actually using it. This ridiculously simple app sounds worthless but it may be the app you use the most.More
    If you're like most people with a desk job, your smartphone sits on your desk for the entire day. Why not use it when you're not actually using it. This ridiculously simple app sounds worthless but it may be the app you use the most.More

Weather

Powered by Frankly