IHF Director, Christopher Doyle, Announces
Groundbreaking Bullying Prevention Project
Acception Provides Solutions and Understanding to LGBT Bullying
The International Healing Foundation (IHF) is excited to announce a groundbreaking project to prevent the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and students with unwanted same-sex attraction (LGBTQIU) across the United States. The 21-minute film and health education curriculum is entitled Acception, which means accepting and appreciating differences. The story follows four high school students as they perform a class assignment on bullying and LGBTQIU issues.
“I am excited to announce this project as IHF’s bullying preventing effort. For over 22 years, IHF has helped thousands of individuals and families struggling with same-sex attraction pursue their dreams and reconcile with their families. Now, we are taking this message of love and acceptance to our nation’s schools to prevent bullying and save lives,” commented Director/Producer Christopher Doyle. Born out of his own experiences of being bullied as a teenager, Doyle incorporates original animations and true stories on social networking websites to help students understand that “hurting people, hurt people” and “healthy people, help people.”
“The mission of Acception is to help educators provide solutions to the nation's bullying epidemic while empowering students to become agents of change so they can stand up and ‘Be a Hero’ to prevent bullying in their schools,” said Doyle. The film focuses on helping students understand and accept their peers who are stigmatized for their sexuality and who are often targeted because of their perceived or actual sexual or gender identity.
“When I was a teenager, I was confused about my sexuality and was bullied by other students because I was perceived to be gay,” commented Doyle. “I tried so hard to be accepted, to belong, and to fit in. I felt that it was impossible to be open about my sexuality and get help from the community as I navigated through adolescence.”
Today, there are basically two polarized views about homosexuality. On one side are those who believe that gays and lesbians should be treated equally and given the same access and rights as heterosexuals. On the other side are people who object to homosexuality for various moral or religious reasons. “These views have too often become politicized in our educational system and, sadly, students are not offered a comprehensive view regarding sexuality. Acception is unique in that it breaks through these barriers and presents the issue of homosexuality from diverse viewpoints, with love and compassion. Stories of gay and lesbian youth are shared, as well as the experience of a student who struggles with unwanted same-sex attraction and seeks change,” remarked Doyle.
“At times it’s really difficult being gay at school,” commented a high school student from New York. “I deal with so much hate from others. I hope Acception is shown to all students in this country so they can understand how hard it is for students like me.”The film and curriculum, released in March 2012, is already being implemented in more than a dozen school districts across the USA, including Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, and Washington, and is expected to reach at least 25,000 students in its first year of implementation.
Principal Barbara Kirkweg of Bronx Aerospace High School in Bronx, New York, is enthusiastic about her school's implementation of Acception: "I don't know of anything more useful than this film and curriculum to help kids navigate the pre-teen and teen years. Acception will save lives."
At the conclusion of the Acception film is a memorial dedicated to the many students who committed suicide, in part, because of bullying. “It doesn’t matter whether a person is gay, straight, or ‘different,’ no one deserves to be bullied. It’s time that we all treat each other with respect, understanding, and love. Acception brings ‘Do unto others’ back into our hearts and minds,” commented Brenda High, co-founder of Bully Police USA, author of Bullycide in America, and mother of Jared High, who committed suicide because of bullying.
“My wish is that students across the country recognize that bullying hurts, and in some cases, kills. Accepting and appreciating differences does not mean that we have to agree with everyone’s life choices. However, we are called to be compassionate towards everyone’s sexuality and life experiences. Acception is all about true tolerance, real diversity, and equality for all,” stated Doyle.
For more information about the Acception film and health educational resources for schools, teachers, parents, and students, visit: www.Acception.info.