Montpelier, Vt: Office of the Governor reports 2.14.2019 – Governor Phil Scott and Vermont-NEA (VT-NEA) President Don Tinney today announced a joint initiative inviting Vermont middle and high school students to create a “See Something, Say Something” video public service announcement (PSA), which will be used by the Agency of Education (AOE) and VT-NEA to promote awareness and reporting of school safety threats across the state.

“Working together to protect Vermont’s kids and ensure our schools are safe places for them to learn and grow is a shared priority as we work to strengthen all of Vermont’s communities,” said Governor Scott. “Vermont is one of the safest and healthiest states in the country, but we can always do more in this area. I want to thank the Vermont-NEA for their partnership on this important initiative and I look forward to seeing what our creative students come up with.”

Teams of students are invited to create short videos for a student audience, which support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” Campaign to encourage students to talk with adults if they are aware of other students considering harming themselves or others. The PSAs should promote the importance of a community caretaking approach in preventing violence, self-harm and bullying in schools and neighborhoods.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our schools,” said Vermont-NEA President Don Tinney. “We are proud to work with the Governor to unleash the creativity of our students in helping to make sure our schools are a safe haven for everyone, especially the young people whose parents entrust us with their care every single day. Together, we can prevent a tragedy before it starts.”

Submissions will be judged on criteria including ability to attract students’ attention and persuade them to adopt the “See Something, Say Something” approach, as well as clarity, creativity and production quality. Cash prizes and special tour experiences will be awarded to the creators of the top three videos (cash prizes will go directly to the winners’ school).

AOE and VT-NEA will use the winning videos to promote “See Something, Say Something” in Vermont schools and will share them online and with media outlets across the state, including media partners Local 22 & Local 44, NBC5 and WCAX.

“We all have an obligation and desire to take care of those around us,” said Rob Evans of the Vermont School Safety Center. “Speaking up about potential violence, self-harm, hazing, harassment, or bullying in our schools and communities is a simple and effective way to protect others. We must all feel comfortable speaking up about situations that are of concern to us. This ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign is one more way to ensure we build and maintain healthy communities and safe schools.”

Students must submit their videos at by March 20. Winners will be notified on April 1 and an awards ceremony will be held at the Vermont State House in April.

The top three videos will be shown at the Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly on April 6.

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