Kenwood Alumnus Tackles Bullying with Short Film, “The Tormentors”

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Kenwood Alumnus Tackles Bullying with Short Film, “The Tormentors”

Cordell Forbes

Cordell Forbes

Cordell Forbes

Cordell Forbes

Luvia Thomas, Junior

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Bullying is an unfortunate yet common endeavor that is known throughout all school hallways and teen dramas alike. This week is Team BCPS Bully Prevention week. Throughout the week students and staff can wear colors to represent that kindness matters as a preventive action against bullying. Blue is for civility on Monday, green for equity on Tuesday, yellow for unity on Wednesday, red for respect on Thursday, and purple for positivity on Friday.

Kenwood alum Cordell Forbes though took action against bullying a step further. Last year in 2018 he, along with five other BCPS students part of the Youth Writers Rock program created a short film called “The Tormentors,”  a story about facing down a bully and not letting bullies destroy your mentality. The trailer came out in September 2018, and Forbes short film “The Tormentors” on bullying premiered at the Senator Theater on October 11, 2018

Forbes’ own experiences with bullying were the inspiration that eventually lead to the short film. “I was bullied at my previous school,” he shared. As part of a Baltimore group called Youth Writers Rock, he used the outlet to write about his experience to “show people they shouldn’t kill themselves over a bully. They should ask for help from their parents and friends.”

With bullying gracing the headlines all too often these days, when his aunt discovered his story he wrote, and she took it to his guidance counselor. From there, KHS librarian Mrs. Lauren Magnuson and teachers learned about the book he wrote. Knowing this is a topic students need to be more actively engaged in addressing, Forbes was asked to give a Book Talk about it in January of 2018 at the school library.

His story was gaining the attention of more than KHS by then, and even the Essex librarian attended. With so many positive reviews and attention on the book, he and his friends decided over the summer of 2018 to create a short film about the book.

Bullying is something we would all like to see come to an end but taking steps like Forbes to bravely share his personal experience with overcoming bullying to promote social change for acceptance is encouragement to us to take a stand against bullying.