Skip to main content

— 2023 Top Entry, Teens —

Kids Talk About Bullying When You See It and You Matter

Birmingham City Schools 5th Graders in Dr. Yuvraj Verma’s Classes
Birmingham, Alabama

About the group and why they participated

Although this competition lasted from January 2024 to April 2024, both of Dr. Yuvraj Verma’s 5th Grade classes are predicated on care and respect. In order to create a video on bullying prevention as well as to speak passionately about it, it needs to happen in reality. While academics are important in a school setting, President Theodore Roosevelt correctly stated that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Similarly, Aristotle is quoted saying that “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. Both quotes highlight the significance of educating the whole-child. As a matter of fact, many competitions focus on academics, but the benefit of the 2023 PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center’s “Students with Solutions” competition was that we were able to have discussions about social-emotional learning, which is a very important topic for children to engage in. It was refreshing and impressive to hear the students openly, vulnerably, and honestly talking about bullying, including being bullied, the need to be upstanders as opposed to bystanders, and the importance of working collaboratively to become anti-bullies. On May 9, 2023, Birmingham City Councilman Clinton Woods celebrated the students’ victory at a City Council Meeting. Nonetheless, the students’ victory was celebrated on multiple local news channels as well: CBS42 NewsWVTM13 News, and ABC33/40.

Photo: Dr. Yuvraj Verma (top left) and his 5th Grade Students at Birmingham City Hall, with Birmingham City Councilor Clinton Woods; Birmingham City Schools Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jermaine Dawson; Board Member Mary Boehm; Instructional Superintendent Gwendolyn Tilghman; Martha Gaskins Elementary School Assistant Principal Dr. Taylor Greene; and parents Kimico Harper, Denise Morgan, and Delores Murrell

Kids Talk About Bullying When You See It and You Matter

What impact did creating the video have on those involved?

  • "It made me feel better and not alone because I’m a survivor” -John H.
  • "I got to work with my classmates” -Bethany B.
  • "It was fun using the iPads" -Marcus T.
  • "It made me feel good" -Autumn D.
  • "It made me think more about how kids can feel when getting bullied” -Reyna S.
  • "It was nice to work with other people” -Charles D.
  • "It made me care about how others felt” -Cameron M.
  • "I was happy to do this” -Alan S.
  • "The impact this video had on me is that we can change what’s happening” -Kennedi I.
  • "I realized that bullies should realize how other people feel” -Chanel C.

What advice do you have for others who want to be part of making real change in the world?

  • "The impact it had was we can change our community and we can stop bullying” -Luis V.
  • "Respect others” -Christopher K.
  • "Always keep your head up, and don’t feel down" -Aniyah P.
  • "Be kind and respectful” -Fernando G.-R.
  • "Respect others how you want to be respected” -Rahjay W.
  • "Be respectful by being nice to each other” -Cedric J.
  • "Be kind" -Markelle M.
  • "Treat people like how u want to be treated” -Jairo S.-R.
  • "Respect others how u want to be treated” -Kaylie U.
  • "Be intelligent and kind in your choices” -JaNiya T.
  • "Be helpful” -Dallana O.
  • "Don’t give up and trying to do the right thing” -Raheem W.
  • "My advice to everyone is if you see somebody getting bullied tell Dr. Verma or the principal” -Kristin W.