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'Choose Respect Montgomery' Focuses On Teens And Domestic Violence

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The image above is a screenshot from the "Speak Up" PSA produced by seven Montgomery County public students.
Montgomery County Public Schools
The image above is a screenshot from the "Speak Up" PSA produced by seven Montgomery County public students.

A team of seven Montgomery County high school students produced a video public service announcement about teen violence. The PSA, titled "Speak Up"," is one of five videos picked as semi finalists for the Choose Respect Campaign this year.

"It's really about focusing on yourself, and not letting anyone change you," says 14-year-old Mirabella Roberts, who was part of the winning team from Roberto Clemente Middle School last year.

The PSAs will be showcased as part of the Choose Respect Conference this Sunday, March 3, at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College, where the winner will be selected. The event is free for students in sixth through 12th grades, and will offer workshops and other activities that help break the cycle of abuse, says Lisette Orellana, a violence counselor and abuse survivor.

"Many families do experience violence, and their children experience violence," she says. "And they grow up in this environment where they don't recognize that's it's something that shouldn't be happen."

Orellana adds that abuse is verbal, physical and emotional, and nowadays happens in the real world and cyberspace.

"It's now digital with social media, with Facebook, with Twitter, with texting, and the constant calling," says Orellana.

Local girl band Ivy Rose will be performing at the event.

Video: "Speak Up"

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