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Inspiration

The Anti-Bullying Video You’ve Got to See

We’ve seen a lot of art, attention and discussion inspired by the tough issue of teen bullying. But perhaps none have been as strikingly beautiful as Canadian poet Shane Koyczan‘s spoken word poem, animated and then posted on YouTube about a week ago.

Since then, the video has exploded–it’s been viewed more than 4.7 million times (and counting). Slate called the video “beautiful,” Yahoo! News dubbed it “powerful” and Mashable claimed it will “reshape your views on name calling, harassment and pain.”

“To This Day” tells the stories of bullied children and how it’s the words (not the “sticks and stones” often cited in cliches) others hurl at them that hurt and stick with them for many years after. Though quite sad in parts, the video ends on a positive note and brings the issue full circle. The video features gorgeous artwork by many talented contributors, who each illustrated roughly 20-second segments and are all credited at the end of the video.

Watch it now:

On cable news channel HLNTV, Koyczan told Kyra Phillips that the response has astounded him and that many bullied kids and their parents have reached out to him since the video’s launch to share their stories. He hopes to continue the journey and enlightenment through the “To This Day” anti-bullying project website. “My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways,” he wrote on the site.

Have you ever been a victim of bullying? How did you handle it and what do you think is the proper way to move forward? What did you think of the video?

Source: Shine

Image: YouTube

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21 Comments

  1. thespiritualwarrior7

    Posted by thespiritualwarrior7 on March 6, 2013 at 20:20

    That was gorgeously eloquent and heartbreaking. Well-spoken, Shane.
    I have been homeschooled most of my life, but I have gone to public school. The first one I went to, I didn’t fit in. If you read my profile, you’ll see that I’ve travelled. I’ve seen things that make it impossible to fit in, and I’ve accepted that. But it always hurts to be outcast. To be the one that nobody wants to choose for a partner, the one that’s always alone. The one that nobody talks to, the one that gets evil looks when she tries to compliment on someone’s shirt. That was me. Even at Youth Group and in public situations today, that’s still me. I’m too fearful and anxious to ever be comfortable in a social situation, and I’ve started to develop a stutter I didn’t have before.
    The second school I went to was better. It was VERY small. I had one other girl in my class, and we got along pretty well. But there were some problems with the teachers there. The music teacher was very rude to my brother, and obviously had issues. I would die for my brother. We told our parents about it, and they talked to her, but then she started picking on another girl. She would single one person out to be nice to just to make the rest of us feel bad.
    Homeschooling is the only way for me.

  2. xJesusLovesYoux

    Posted by xJesusLovesYoux on March 3, 2013 at 19:08

    I’ve seen this so many times I know basically all the words.

  3. Nellie

    Posted by Nellie on March 3, 2013 at 13:04

    ooohhh but i have to ask a question… is it still considered bullying if no one actually called you names that you know of??? Sure, i had no friends because of it, but it was more of an “lets ignore ashley and pretend we dont know why she doesnt talk to us” thing and i felt kinda left out like i couldnt relate to the video…. and i also felt like i dont have a testimony because i have been a christian all my life… does that mean i am not a “born-again” christian and is that bad??? I’ve been feeling something terrible about these questions this video reminded me of and i’d appreciate it if anyone could help thanks:)

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by on March 3, 2013 at 17:34

      Nellie, it is totally bullying to be ignored. It’s how I was bullied. In many ways it does the same thing. Instead of being inprobably named, we have to live on name-less. It was awful, but it’s a thing you overcome. Who says you need a testimony to be a Christian? Anyway- being christian all your life doesn’t make you testimony-less. I’ve been christian all my life, and its still very hard and brings many testimonies. If you have any questions- find me on Girl Talk and I’m be sure to answer them, lovely. <3

      • Nellie

        Posted by Nellie on March 5, 2013 at 14:29

        Thanks Mikiki! <3 i have been so confused with myself lately, so maybe later i will post in girl talk about it, i do sort of feel like i could use some advice!! <3

  4. Nellie

    Posted by Nellie on March 3, 2013 at 13:00

    OMG my Bible Study after school showed me this video and the leader shared a really great and personal (and sorta sad) response to it and another guy wrote a poem about it and my friend shared her testimony about bullying it was so amazing i love this video!!!

  5. Flame

    Posted by Flame on March 1, 2013 at 18:25

    To this day, I hate large crowds of people. To this day, I have panic attacks and don’t handle confrontation well. To this day, I am afraid of men.

    Yes, I was bullied. Bullied to the point of having to leave regular school because the boys hit both me and my service dog Shyla so many times that she nipped a person that put their face within inches of hers. And it didn’t stop there, there was plenty of verbal abuse as well. Being called a freak and having people tell me not to check my sugar or take insulin around them because apparently its gross and I shouldn’t have been allowed to do it in class. They said I should have had to go to the bathroom and do it. I had to go to alternative school after my dog “bit” the kid that scared her and when I realized Shyla wasn’t getting any better I had to give her up. She became overly protective of me because of how many times she saw me get hit by men. I gave her to a friend, and she acted like nothing ever happened. He put her back to work as his service dog for diabetes. The teachers had seen what was going on. They just didn’t care. They sat back and watched me get bullied out of school.

    I trained my own dog, my pet at the time. His name is Clank. I took him back to regular school with me since alternative school wasn’t working. That was my senior year. The bullying resumed and some of the faculty even got in on it. The vice principal made threats towards us (a fully grown man threatening a 17 year old girl and not getting in trouble when the superintendent was made aware), I was constantly in the principals office for things I didn’t do, and even once had a teacher tell me not to treat my diabetes in class because “its gross and freaks people out.” Eventually Clank and I graduated together.

    My neighbors dogs attacked Clank. I had to give him up, too, in order to keep him safe from them. He also works as a service dog for a friend. I got Shanti from Animal Control and trained her for myself. I’ve officially been through 3 service dogs in 3 years because of what other people have done to me.

    I don’t like being in crowds because it reminds me of being in school. I have panic attacks because my senior year of high school was so stressful that I started having them because my body didn’t know how else to handle it. I hate confrontation because it brings back memories of being cornered in the vice principal’s office and being threatened with no one around to witness it. I don’t like men because the principal, vice principal, and every student that ever hit me was either a boy or a man.

    I’ve been out of high school almost a year now, and I’m just now able to talk about everything that happened. There were so many parts of this video that I could identify with, it almost made me cry. I was the kid that broke in school. I made a sound, but nobody chose to hear. I’m still dealing with the aftermath of it all.

    • vanilla

      Posted by vanilla on March 2, 2013 at 07:42

      I am so sorry! That is terrible. I’m praying for you.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by on March 1, 2013 at 21:59

      Oh I’m so sorry Flame, but I want you to realize how amazing you are and how inspring your story is. You never gave up and kept going to regular school. You had the bravery to make a sound. You had the bravery to stand up and defend your pets the best way you knew how. <3 It's so hard not to hate bullies, but I think they're all just very blond or very jealous. We are very cool you know, and it's hard to match that. I'm sorry about the bullying, but remember God loves you and that not everyone is going to be as awful as those blind class mates and teachers you had. <3 Thank you for being so strong, lovely!

  6. His way

    Posted by His way on March 1, 2013 at 18:05

    Wow. This video was amazing. I’ve been bullied and this video has really affected me. The poem was so amazing!

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by on March 1, 2013 at 16:41

    Thank you….do muc

  8. Dreamer

    Posted by Dreamer on March 1, 2013 at 13:50

    This makes me cry every single time I watch it.

  9. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on March 1, 2013 at 06:03

    I have been bullied as long as I can remember… But it`s so important to remember “No matter what you have been told, you`re worth more than gold” as Britt Nicole says!!

  10. Ziggay-Z

    Posted by Ziggay-Z on February 28, 2013 at 20:55

    This made me cry. Its so inspirational. I’ve been a victim, but now I know they were wrong.

  11. SanctitysFlame

    Posted by SanctitysFlame on February 28, 2013 at 20:30

    I am thankful to have never been bullied (being schooled at home, there’s not a lot of chance of it)…but this video had me crying…and I mean a lot. I will probably never understand fully what it is like to endure such torment. However, watching this video gives me an empathy of which I never before possessed for those who have been and are being bullied. Incredible.

  12. karinavldz

    Posted by karinavldz on February 28, 2013 at 19:20

    I’ve been bullied constantly throughout my life. I was either too fat, too skinny, or just plain ugly. Most of the time, I would be bullied because of a mole I have on the right side of my face. In response to this, I hid my face behind my hair. I would walk around with only half of my face exposed to avoid people’s comments. The kids I grew up with have little to no recollection of what I went through and why I am the way I am. But I am scarred. Kids really have no idea how much their words affect others. I, for some time, would cut myself, and even juggled the idea of suicide. But now I know that God loves me for me, and nothing else really matters. P.s., I cried aroundthe three minute mark of the video, where it talks about the girl with the birthmark…

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by mylove2God on February 28, 2013 at 16:06

    Oh my goodness, I am tearing up right now. All my life I have been bullied. I have been called names, ganged up on and more. It got to the point where I left school crying,and avoided field trips so that I would not be ridiculed in public. This video has made me feel so much better. Bullies are wrong. We are not who they say we are, we are worth SO MUCH MORE!

  14. sierra96

    Posted by sierra96 on February 28, 2013 at 15:36

    i have never been bullied!! But i feel bad for the kids that do!! This video was awesome though and help me understand what those kids feel like everyday…

  15. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on February 28, 2013 at 13:02

    yes and not trying to defend them but,there is a story in the Bible that say’s im not sure if this is 100% exact words or not but this is it: “what they meant for evil, God meant for good.” and thats what God did i was so broken downby bullying that i went to God and God made me His child. 🙂 and bullying is wrong soooooo wrong and if your a bully out there ask for forgiveness and stop it. it breaks peoples hearts. people literally kill themselves for being called names and maybe its just one name but that one name goes downdeep into peoples hearts and poisons the confidence on the inside it makes them feel weak and worthless and thats how i felt until God came into my life and turned ugly into beautiful. H sucked out all the poison in my life and told me to look a it from His perspective and i did. it changes my life forever… but i have to admit i can be the bully alot too and im sorry i never realized i could hurt people that bad. well i did. and ill try to stop 🙂

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by on February 28, 2013 at 12:47

    When a movie can reduce you to tears… I’m a little speechless, in a good way. They were wrong, those kids who bullied me, in fact all the bullies. *still crying* They will always be wrong, and I will always be strong. <3