Buenos Aires/Mexico D.F., 26 June 2007 – MTV Latin America announced the premiere of the special “MTV News Forum: Bullying, the Terror in School” (Bully: el Terror escolar), sponsored by UNICEF. The special program will be anchored by Jazz and Nicolas, MTV News speakers in Mexico and Argentina, respectively.
This forum creates a space through which some of the protagonists of violence in school –victims or aggressors- have the possibility to peacefully present their points of view, look for causes of the problem and propose solutions. In the case of Argentina, the forum unites a group of students from high schools Hipólito Vieytes and Ingeniero Huergo, among others, in order to dialogue about the different opinions of each party in the traditional conflict of rivalry between two colleges, further including examples of other similar cases.
In the case of Mexico, MTV gathered a group of students from the Mexican University Center (Centro Universitario México), who talk to Jazz about numerous topics such as the origin of the hatred, the media impact which some bullying cases had, how rivalry influences their daily lives, and possible answers and suggestions to solve the problem.
The special block will start on June 28th at 21 hrs Miami, with the transmission of the dramatic short movie by Chilean producer Nicolas Lopez, “Super Bully Child”, at 21:30 hrs Miami. “MTV News Forum: Bullying, the Terror in School” will be shown, and finally at 22 hrs Miami, a Live Chat www.MTVla.com will start. Latin American adolescents will be able to ask questions and receive free advice from specialists. At the same time, the website will display information about places where assistance and help can be found. At the end, all participants will be invited to propose alternatives in order to draw up “Your words against violence” pact, an online agreement for the eradication of violence.
The channel will present MTV News Blocks displaying the opinions of musicians such as Daddy Yankee, Pambo, Keane, Reik, Babasonicos and Miranda about bullying. The news blocks will be rotating on MTV regular programming from Monday 25th until Friday 29th of June.
Bullying is a worldwide phenomenon and consists of the intentional act of badgering, aggrieving or physically or verbally threatening another person. Generally takes place in the school environment, and usually starts as a joke even though it can end in physical and psychological violence. Bullying is the arbitrary imposition of the stronger over the weaker. According to a national survey, in Mexico, around 3 million boys and girls between the age of 6 and 9 years experience violence in their homes and schools.
“The phenomenon exists since a long time and we all at some point have been the victims or the perpetrators of typical jokes in school. However, these days, the topic seems to have crossed the line. Turning cases of aggressive and violent behavior between adolescents, into severe physical or psychological damage”, commented Mario Cader Frech, Corporate Social Responsibility Director of MTV Networks Latin America. He added, “According to numbers of studies conducted in cooperation with UNICEF and obtained from human rights organizations in Latin America, violence and terror in schools are two of the greatest worries of young people all over the region. Therefore, it seemed important to us to be able to bring the topic to MTV with the intention of raising awareness and to offer an online platform for the peaceful exchange of ideas and solutions for the problem”.
At present, violence has permeated the new technologies where hostile behavior is being displayed through the internet, cell phones, or instant messages, using photos, gossip blogs, videos and comments in virtual communities on the internet, and videos or pictures in cell phones, among others. There are even websites specially created as platforms for open and anonymous discrimination and bullying.
“The acts of discrimination and violence in schools should be taken as a serious indicator of the need to invest in better quality education, so that going to school does not mean boredom due to obsolete methods, mistreatment and discrimination”, comments Sonia Eljach, Regional UNICEF Advisor on protection of human rights. She added, “UNICEF joins forces with MTV, beginning with these special shows, to support adolescents’ participation, and to spread their points of view about violence, within and outside schools, as well as to support young initiatives to identify proposals which help create societies which respect human rights to a greater extent”.
The short movie “Super Bully Child” which will be aired by MTV to introduce the issue is a sarcastic piece directed by Nicolas Lopez, a well-known Chilean producer. He also directed the movie “Average Red” (“Promedio Rojo). Mauricio Copano stars in “Super Bully Child” shedding light onto the serious topic from a different approach.
“Super Bully Child” is violent and brutal; it has a sour and ironic sense of humor. It is the toughest video I have ever produced”, said Nicolas Lopez, director of the movie, adding: “the comedy is a powerful tool to talk about social realities”.
21:00 hrs Miami - Super Bully Child 21:30 hrs Miami - MTV News Forum: Bullying, the Terror in School 22:00 hrs Miami - Chat in www.MTVla.com
MTV Network Latin America, Inc MTV Networks Latinoamérica, Inc. Is part of Viacom International (NYSE: VIA y VIA.B), owns and operates broadcasters MTV Latin America, Nickelodeon Latin America, VH1 Latin America, Viacom Networks Brazil (operates Nickelodeon and Vh1 Brazil) and digital channels MTV Networks, including five digital channels - MTV Jams, MTV Hits, VH1 Soul, VH1 Country and Gas within Nickelodeon. Spanish and Portuguese MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon cover more than 20 Latin American countries. MTV Networks Latin America also links to its viewers interactively through internet: MTVla.com, Mundonick.com and Vh1la.com, and through broad band Sites and music communities: MTVRevolution.com y LaZona.com. About UNICEF UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.