From left - Jaime Witters, Iemaja Hassell and Kayla Stockman-Bond hope their music video inspires people to stand up to bullies.

Raglan students taking their anti-bullying message to the big screen

Raglan Area School students are using the power of music to spread the anti-bullying message to their peers.

From directing, acting, writing, producing and editing, members of the school’s junior health team have taken on headline roles in their music video Stand Up.Written by 11-year-old Jaime Witters, the song, which started life as a poem, takes a positive stance against bullying inviting the listener to stick up for those in need.

“You have to be brave and help out other people,” she says.

Helped by guidance counsellor Betty Diprose, a former music teacher, Jaime wrote the music, sings the song accompanied by head boy Joel Newport on guitar and plays an upstander in the video – someone who stands up to bullies.

The music video will be interspersed with Jaime and Joel performing the songs and vignettes depicting the plight of a marginalised student.

The production crew includes videographer/director Iemaja Hassell and actors Kayla Stockman-Bond (victim), Josie Harder and Ayla Standley (bullies), Keira Hishon (upstander) and extras Danielle Macdonald and Ashton Bicknell.

Most of the crew are on the junior health team and Betty says the group started at the end of last year to spread positive messages with a uniquely student voice out amongst the student community.

“It’s young people looking after their peers.”

The music video has been entered into the Raglan Arts Film Festival Awards and the public can view Stand Up and the other RAFFA entrants on the big screen at the Old School during the film festival week from September 16-21, 10am-2pm. Entry by koha.

Janine Jackson