Lehman High School Hopes to Win National Contest

Herbert H. Lehman High School students, who have created a ground-breaking public service announcement on teen dating abuse, are asking the community to vote for their project to win a national contest.

The school’s Media Arts and Communications Small Learning Community, headed up by assistant principal Karen Andronico, has filmed the PSA on the dangers of teen dating violence. The clip was selected, along with four other nation-wide high school PSAs for the Let Your Heart Rule Contest, taking place online from Thursday, May 5 to Tuesday, May 17.

If the school wins, the students will appear on the Dr. Phil Show and receive $1,000 towards the purchase of electronic tablets for their Media Arts and Communications Program.

“The students will get to go on the Doctor Phil show to discuss their PSA, and will get a grant for our program,” a confident Andronico said. “We have brought this PSA to the Tribecca Film Festival and are preparing our students for careers in media after high school.”

The voting for the school’s PSA, as part of the contest sponsored by non-profit group called Break the Cycle: Empowering Youth to End Domestic Violence, along with partners Verizon and the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, is open to anyone who wishes to vote.

The purpose of screening the PSAs is to help teens to understand that dating abuse does not discriminate, whether you are straight or gay, a young woman or a young man, or of one particular race or skin color, according to the website.

“I believe that we are the only New York City public high school that has been chosen as a finalist in this contest,” Andronico said. “This is all about getting out the vote from our community to support our kids.”

“I was cautiously optimistic about our changes, with thousands of schools all over the country submitting to the contest,” teacher James McSherry said. “This was a simple, and obviously effective PSA, with the kids looking into the camera and telling their personal narratives.”

McSherry sought to thank student Miranda Rodriguez, who he said came up with the original concept for the 30-second PSA.

To support Lehman High School, go to www.letyourheartrule.com and click “on enter the contest.”

You can also view Lehman’s Media Arts and Communications Small Learning Community’s online newspaper at www.lehmanmac.com.

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