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PINK SHIRT DAY

Anti-bullying vids nab Pink Shirt awards 0

By Tyler Orton, 24 Hours Vancouver

Grade 12 student Anna La took home top honours from Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy for her video meant to represent the internal wounds bullying causes. (SUBMITTED)

Grade 12 student Anna La took home top honours from Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy for her video meant to represent the internal wounds bullying causes. (SUBMITTED)

Brushing her hand past her eye, Anna La reveals a devastating bruise beneath her bangs. More cuts and gashes soon appear on her bare arms and left cheek before blood begins dripping from her nose.

While those injuries were merely concocted through a Hollywood makeup job, the Grade 12 student said the wounds depicted in her anti-bullying video symbolized the impacts of verbal, or seemingly invisible, torment.

“Not everyone shows their pain,” said Justine Crawford, co-producer for the video.

The 60-second film earned the pair an award from Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, who had adorned a salmon-tinged uniform, on Wednesday’s Pink Shirt Day. More than a dozen students from across the city were also honoured for their anti-bullying videos.

Watts, who admitted to being bullied throughout high school, said students have even greater challenges nowadays when it comes to dealing with harassment in the cyberworld.

“Through social media, (bullying is) faceless and people tend to be that much more cruel when they’re not accountable,” she said, adding her own daughter was a victim of cyber-bullying.

“It’s important to make sure that your child is comfortable enough to be able to come to you and show you what’s being said.”

The mayor said the cyber-bullying incident was a “teachable moment” for her family that they were eventually able to deal with together.

But for those young people who don’t have parents there to help them handle persistent harassment, bc211 executive director Myrna Holman said children can contact her agency for bullying advice.

“The first misconception is there’s nothing out there that can help,” she said, adding people can dial 211 on their phones or go to bc211.ca to access a database of more than 6,000 community, government and social services.

Anna La and Justine Crawford's winning anti-bullying video:

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