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Student's film spotlights horrors of school bullying

Reported by: Christine Kim
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Updated: 4/30 10:11 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- More than 2,100 children admitted to being bullied across Nevada in the past school year. Many of those reports were filed in the Las Vegas valley.

And those are only the ones who speak up.

As students and parents gear up for the first day of school next week, one teenager is taking his own personal story to help other bullying victims.

Hunter Hopewell, 17, plays a bullying victim in his short film, ”Numbskull.” His inspiration comes from his own experience as a freshman in high school.

“One morning, my dad woke up and woke me up.” Hunter said. “ ‘I need you to look at something; tell me what’s going on.’ I couldn’t imagine the audacity of a kid who would write something to a kid’s father in the first place.

“Some kids had sent a message to him on Facebook that said some pretty hurtful stuff about me.”

For two weeks, Hunter was cyberbullied.

“We took it very seriously right away, took it to our son,” said James Hopewell, Hunter’s father. “We tried to figure out who it was, and we went to the school, reported it to the police. The FBI got involved. It was quite a process.”

Hunter created this film to let others know they are not alone -- and they aren't. There were more than 1,500 bullying incidents last year in the Clark County School District. Spokeswoman Melinda Malone says they are all taken very seriously.

“Bullying on any level is not going to be tolerated,” she said. “Anyone who participates in bullying or does anything with video can be punished as well.”

Hunter says what helped him overcome being bullied was speaking up about what happened. He said he hopes his film will speak to bullies, victims and those watching.

“I know what it feels like,” he said. “I know how awful it is scary it is and inescapable it is, and I want to help put a stop to that.”
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