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When Longwood High School freshman Jessica Barba received an assignment to create a project about an important issue, she chose to create an anti-bullying message to raise awareness of the problem for her peers. Instead of rewarding her hard work, her administration suspended her for five days.
As part of her project, Jessica created a Facebook page clearly marked “Fake” to showcase the trauma faced by a fictitious 12-year-old girl named “Hailey Bennett” as she endured physical and emotional abuse by school bullies. Jessica also starred as "Hailey" in a 6-minute YouTube video she created, which depicted the character’s merciless abuse and eventual suicide.
Jessica's project was a compelling, creative way to showcase the way social media can both contribute to and help fight against bullying. She should be commended for her talent, bravery, and insight--not suspended.
Demand that Middle Island reverse Jessica's suspension and allow her to turn in her assignment for a fair grade!
Dear Superintendent, Allan Gerstenlauer,
We (the undersigned) are appalled that the Middle Island, NY School System would take such an unfair action against Longwood High School Freshman, Jessica Barba by suspending her for 5-Days for a beautifully prepared message against school bullying.
Her talented efforts in creating such a strong Anti-Bullying message should be rewarded NOT punished! The school systems actions may actually prevent bullied students from seeking help!
Please reverse Jessica's suspension immediately and allow her project to be fairly graded!