High school seniors create anti-bullying documentary

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by JANE MCCARTHY & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 8 at 6:15 PM

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.-- October is national bullying prevention month and two Spokane County high school seniors are spending the month creating a documentary to shed light on the problem.

The students said they were once bullied themselves.

"I was bullied online and at school so I would go to sports games or just walking down the hall being called nasty names, having rumors spread about me," said Kirsten Wyman.

The high school senior said she was a high school sophomore when she first started getting bullied.

"I found out on my 16th birthday that they called -- that my name was 'it'.  So that was very challenging to me because I was no longer like a human to them," added Wyman.
The teenager said her name was splashed all over social media.

"They would say like, ‘I saw it today.’  They would say like very nasty things like that no one likes me that I have no friends... that I have a big nose," said Wyman.

Wyman said people from other schools even started attacking her online.

"My personal health was taking a toll too.  I'd wake up with rashes, I'd have anxiety attacks at school," she added.

Wyman said the bullying got so bad, she left her high school and enrolled at Riverpoint Academy in the Mead School District.

Ashlee Yunk was a friend that stayed by Wyman's side through it all.

"It's just really hard to see someone go through that and have to watch them.  There's nothing you can do, there's nothing to stop it," said Yunk.

Wyman and Yunk decided to create something to try and help other students getting bullied. The girls with the help of Mortimore Productions began shooting a documentary to distribute to schools.

The documentary includes interviews with people affected by bullying. It also includes messages from Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

"Maybe it's time we as society say 'enough.'  We stand up to the bullies and make it stop," said Knezovich.

Yunk and Wyman said they are no longer in a bully's grasp. They hope their documentary will prompt more compassion.

"I don't want someone to commit suicide before anything's done," said Wyman.

The students hope to bring their documentary to schools locally and beyond. They said working on the project makes them realize bullying is not just a school problem. They believe it can happen in the workplace too. They are looking into how they can bring the documentary in front of other audiences as well.

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