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Starring nobody: Trinity students create movie

Trinity Episcopal Day School ninth graders Brooke Wiley, Allison Jackson and Kailey Hutchins use an iPhone to film one of the last scenes for “Getting Away With Murder,” a 30-minute film Mark McNeil’s ninth-grade English class is producing to spread the word about the dangers of bullying. The students were filming a scene in which a school administrative assistant comforts a mother grieving over the death of her daughter who was bullied by her classmates.

Everybody who is somebody will be nobody Wednesday— at least that is the hope of Mark McNeil’s ninth-grade English class.

Responsible for creating a project inspired by their summer reading assignment “Getting away with Murder,” the Trinity Episcopal Day School students chose to focus on the effects of bullying. The book by Chris Crowe details the Civil Rights murder of Emmett Till and the trial of two white men accused of his murder and later acquitted by an all-white jury in 1955.

After reading the book, the students chose to focus on discrimination and the role it plays in bullying.

To do so, the class decided to create a film about two stories — the real life events of Emmett Till and the fictional tale of a student who commits suicide after being bullied because she was fat.

The goal of the film is show the parallels between the two stories and show the dangerous effects of discrimination and bullying in it various forms.

Students developed the script, acted the parts and filmed the scenes. The 30-minute movie will be presented to the high school Wednesday — a day designated a “Nobody Day,” inspired by a poem by Emily Dickinson that goes to the heart of the bullying issue.

McNeil’s class will debut “Getting Away With Murder” at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the school gym.

A scene from the movie shows a group of mean girls laughing as they throw Twinkies at a fat girl in the school cafeteria. The movie by the ninth-grade class focuses on the dangerous effects of bullying in school.
Trinity Episcopal Day School junior Shyvonia Manuel, who plays Emmett Till’s mother, is filmed crying after she finds out in a letter that her son has been murdered in Mississippi.