Girl suspended from school after her anti-bullying video in honor of friend who committed suicide hurt principal’s feelingsBy Tanya Clark 8:51 AM February 6, 2018
A brave girl who wanted to honor her friend who committed suicide was punished because she spoke out against bullying.
Like so many at her school, 16-year-old Emily Gipson of Tennessee was distraught when 15-year-old Allie Johnson took her own life while on a family vacation.
After Allie’s death, schools in the area spoke to parents and students about bullying and they created the “Stop It” app on which anyone can report bullying anonymously.
Gipson was upset by the negative reaction from students about the app.
She was also upset that bullies were not being punished for hurting others.
Gipson decided to make a video to express her feelings about bullying.
In the video, she said: “bullies never get punished by school officials who usually say that there was no proof as well as claim that there is nothing they can do about it, or, that kids will just be kids.”
She uploaded the video to YouTube with the description: “Welcome to Lebanon High School.”
She added: “Please share, I’m just trying to make a difference in lives. Disclaimer: no teachers were obligated to support this.”
The video quickly went viral and was seen over 892,000 times. Gipson received a lot of praise from supporters and she soon realized that bullying was not a local issue but a national problem.
However, not everyone liked her stance and she was suspended from school for two days as punishment for making the video.
Scott Walters, the principal of Lebanon High School, refused to give details about the suspension but he said that the viral anti-bullying video hurt “his feelings and those of teachers as well.”
Walters said that he also had an issue with Gipson recording her video in one of the school’s classrooms without permission.
Gipson denied those allegations and said that she got permission from two school coaches to use the classroom for her video.