ELKINS, W.Va. – Sixth graders at Elkins Middle School started their day in a way many children would love: watching a movie, but this one had something to say.
The movie was “The Zombie Club,” the movie recently shot in Bridgeport featuring Dean Cain, and it aims to send an anti-bullying message to viewers. Bringing it to the classroom was started with an idea from professional counselor and cast member Deborah Blank Thompson.
“I said I’d love to have this entire mass 300-people cast and do a seminar with them on taking the tactics from the movie and talk to them about creating an anti-bullying club in real life in their schools. And Jason said ‘go for it,'” said Thompson.
From that first idea came a series of plans for schools to teach anti-bullying techniques to students after watching the film. Students at EMS had Alec Miller, an Elkins High school student who was part of the cast, at the school to teach them about those techniques in person.
“I experienced and watched a lot of bullying and even now I still see a lot of bullying, and I really, really hope this movie gets the message of helping to stop that bullying even just in a few kids,” said Miller.
The movie sends its message through a comedic, zombie-laden story, but what they’re trying to get across is still very serious. Thompson wants the Elkins Middle School students to know that each of them has power to make a difference whenever bullying happens.
“They actually have the most power of any group, not the victims, not the bullies, but the bystanders, the actors, can intervene and actually make a difference. And you know, we have a suicide problem in the state with teenagers, so if I save two kids, I’m happy,” Thompson said.