Bully for student filmmaker Hayley Schaff and a corps of students, parents and teachers at Montgomery High.
Standing up against the tragedy of cyberbullying, they took on a campaign of education and advocacy boosted by a grant from Sonoma County Mental Health Services.
For her part, Hayley, a senior, produced a short video that’s impressed people, Montgomery principal Laurie Fong among them. The film shows a girl walking dejectedly through a school hall as other students stick Post-Its to her.
Written on them are ugly, unkind names. The message: If it’s bad to say in person, it’s bad to put online.
By coincidence, director Lee Hirsch’s documentary “Bully” is running now at Santa Rosa’s Roxie 14 theater. Folks at Montgomery asked Joe Luis of Santa Rosa Entertainment Group if the Roxie might screen Hayley’s short
prior to showings of “Bully.”
A look at the student’s video persuaded Luis to have it shown before every single film screened at the Roxie for about the next two weeks.
Principal Fong hopes the films by both Hayley and Hirsch make inroads against online cruelty.
“Cyberbullying is insidious,” she said, “it’s quick, and travels far and wide.”
ELLA’S PETALUMA: A headline on our Sonoma Stories profile of the family of Ella Bisbee, who was 8 when she died in 2010, called her “a Santa Rosa girl.”
We made the mistake because Ella’s folks and little sister live now in Santa Rosa, where they’re continuing a quest to raise money in Ella’s memory for an arts-and-crafts room at the evolving Children’s Museum of Sonoma County.
But Ella was every bit a Petaluma girl. She attended McNear Elementary School and rode her bike for miles from one Petaluma park to another — Walnut Park, McNear Park, Wickersham Park — and farther out, Schollenberger Park.