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Teen suspended for anti-bullying videoMay 23, 2012 @ 6:59 pm (Updated: 12:09 pm - 5/24/12 )
Hailey Bennett seemed like a perfectly happy 12-year-old girl. But she wasn't.
Every day Hailey was bullied at school. Again. And again. Hailey's mom died when she was three. The girl's dad abuses Hailey. Feeling alone and abandoned, she killed herself on May 14, 2012.
Hailey is the fictional character created for a video a New York student made with an anti-bullying message.
The real girl behind the video, 15-year-old Jessica Barba was called into the principal's office - she thought for praise for her video. Instead, she was suspended for five days because the class project video caused a "disruption" in the school's learning environment.
After a meeting with the principal today, the suspension was lifted, according to Kery Murakami, a former Seattle journalist now working in New York.
Barba shot the six-minute video for an assignment in her business and communications class at Longwood High School in New York. She says she had been asked to create a persuasive promo or advertisement.
In the video, Barba plays a girl who is regularly bullied, falls into a depression, is taunted on social media sites and eventually kills herself. Statements at the beginning and the end say it is a fictitious story.
Superintendent Allan Gerstenlauer originally suspended the girl for 5 days, saying the video was "unfortunate in that it created a substantial disruption to the school." A statement released Thursday says "the matter was thoroughly investigated and dealt with following our normal district procedures."
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