Kalispell classroom sends strong message through video


KALISPELL, Mont. - A powerful video has been making an impact around the country. One homeroom in Kalispell Middle School made a video with a powerful message.

"Empathy is the ability to think about what someone else is going through" -- it's just one line from the empathy video posted on YouTube by an eighth grade class at Kalispell Middle School.

Homeroom teacher Noah Couser worked with students to create the video.

"The goal of creating something that other people can be inspired by, that other people can use," said Couser.

Couser's class spent 6 months shooting and editing the video. Empathy is a subject they frequently talk about, and they thought all audiences could best relate to a video.

"It really makes you stop and think about your actions and what you say to people and how you react to certain things," said Kelly Hanlon, a student who participated in the video.

The video explains the meaning of empathy, while showing a student being left out by others and how just one act of kindness by another peer can make a difference.

The video, published on YouTube on May 4, has already been viewed by 2,936 people, and even a New York teacher is using it in her classroom.

"It is important to me to have other people like change their ways about what they're doing," said Brianna Mclaughlin, a student in the video.

"I just hope that people watch it and it changes how they think about how to treat people," said Ethan Hundley, a student participant.

Many of the students explained that they have witnessed bullying in their school. They believe this video best portrays how it feels to be in that position.

"And everybody has been in that place where they are put down and this video is really easy for them to connect with because it's their own peers that are making it for them," said Kirstin Wade, a student in the video.

The message, the impact and the dedication it took to put this together couldn't have made Noah happier.

"They killed it; they knocked it out of the park. I couldn't be prouder of them and just the project in itself," said Couser.

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