KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville Mayor Medeline Rogero and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch honored nine Hardin Valley Students and their teacher for their work to stop bullying and make schools safer.
Under the direction of their teacher, Ramona Dew, the group wrote and performed ten public service announcements on how to react in bullying situations. The Knoxville Police Department helped produce, film and edit the PSAs.
“They wanted to this prior to having any students taking their lives or any incidents where students attempting to take their lives because they were bullied. Students began working toward having activities that were unity activities, so they could get everybody involved,” said Ramona Dew.
The Knoxville Police Department teamed up with Project U to produce, film and edit public service announcements written and performed by students promoting positive responses to bullying. Seniors Mary Elizabeth Dew and Madalyn Neal introduced the initiative.
“I’ve learned so much about how to work with other people, how to get along and how to solve problems in situations that you’re not expecting. We’ve learned how to work well with adult,” said Mary Elizabeth Dew. “I really hope that I can take it forward into my college career because bullying doesn’t just happen in high school and middle school. It happens throughout all of your life.”
“It’s really interesting you get to see a different side of people, you don’t always know when someone is being bullied because not everyone shares stuff like that,” said Neal.
The group was recognized in February by the School Safety Advocacy Council for their efforts. Students also worked with Lamar Advertising to create a billboard awareness campaign and created a social media safety curriculum for Knox County Schools.
“We applaud the efforts of Ms. Dew and her students who contributed countless hours to bring awareness to the importance of stopping unacceptable bullying behavior,” said Chief Rausch.
Ramona Dew says she couldn’t be more proud of the friendships created through the anti-bullying campaign.
“One thing you see is this person who sat by themselves at the beginning. Now they’re sitting with a group of people everyday and that’s exciting,” she said.