Jericho Middle School students look like “little ants” in their new, shot-from-the-sky video, in which the 750 students spell out the anti-bullying message JMS STANDS UP on their football field as if they are members of a marching band executing a halftime number.
“I think it was pretty cool to see all the kids going out into the letter formations,” says seventh-grader Rishan Bhatia, 12, who was part of the J. “From the drone, it looks like we’re little ants.”
The students, all of them wearing yellow T-shirts that say, “We don’t stand by, we stand up,” enacted the latter part of that message as a kickoff of their fifth annual school Bully Prevention program, says school social worker Joanne Verdino.
Participating students, staff and parents were given instruction via a PowerPoint before executing the video, which was coordinated by phys ed teacher Will Martinez and filmed by Jennifer Campos of the organization Project Picture Day using a drone.
Participants followed a path mapped out by string to form the shape of their assigned letters, with teachers yelling out instructions during the 10 to 15 minutes it took to get everyone to their places. Though it was chaotic — “like herding cats,” jokes principal Don Gately — once the music was added to the video and it was sped up to one minute, it became, according to some students, “awesome.”
“It’s cool,” says sixth-grader Jennifer Maldonado, 11, who is part of the letter D and adds that she’d never seen a drone before.
Students can’t pick themselves out of the crowd because everyone looks the same from the sky. “It’s just a blur of yellow T-shirts,” says seventh-grader Mackenzie Meyer, 11, who is in the M. But that’s OK, the students say.
“It’s more about making a stand against bullying and trying to stop it,” says seventh-grader Aditya Niwalkar, 12, who is also in the M. “We should do this more and more. It will really send a message to the world.”
To watch the video, visit nwsdy.li/JMS.