A statewide anti-bullying video campaign kicked off today.
The six public service announcements will air across the state on local television outlets and on scoreboards during games at the Stan Sheriff Center and Aloha Stadium.
The segments were produced by students with Waianae High School's Searider Productions.
"What better way to be able to exemplify working together, reaching out to those who are struggling,? said Gov. Neil Abercrombie just after the unveiling of the anti-bullying spots.
Abercrombie was joined by Board of Education members, the schools superintendent, Waianae High video production students and UH athletes at a press conference at the Stan Sheriff Center Tuesday morning.
The anti-bullying segments were funded by First Hawaiian Bank and feature Waianae High students and star UH athletes.
Among them -- UH Warrior Richard Torres, who scored a touchdown on an interception last week against Louisiana Tech.
Torres said respect is key to eliminating bullying.
"Being part of a team, especially a sport like football, you know where you got to rely on 10 other people on the field. Respecting your teammates from the best player to maybe not the best player. It all comes along to being a successful team,? said Richard Torres, UH Warrior football player.
The spots are being launched just as the BOE and Department of Education are working on a program called "peaceful schools" to combat bullying and to ensure every student is respected, honored and valued.
"There's a significant correlation between student achievement and stress of a student. And the number one stress for students is bullying on campus,? said BOE Chairman Don Horner.
"To make a concerted effort not only to curb bullying, but also to create environments in schools that allow students to learn, to feel safe, to feel respected,? said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
The state does provide annual anti-bullying training for faculty, staff, students, families and the community.
The state said it is working to routinely monitor student behavior data and develop a confidential reporting system.