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Students Take on Bullying in Brooklyn District Attorney's PSA Contest

By Sonja Sharp | November 20, 2012 7:50am

BROOKLYN — Boasting and brow-beating are officially out at the Brooklyn District Attorney's office — at least as long as this guy's in charge. 

Draped in a red poncho, "Super Nice Guy" — the on-screen avatar of 10-year-old Mohammad Rashid — earned a new superpower Monday after he and fellow classmates at Bensonhurst's P.S. 186 won top honors for their anti-bullying PSA in a contest hosted by the DA's office.

"You're a DA for the day!" District Attorney Charles Hynes announced to the plucky youngster and his co-creators, whose submissions beat 30 others in a borough-wide video contest in a tie for first place.

"It's really exciting," said 11-year-old Anaiah Rivera, another of the short video's stars. Though she said she had no idea what the top prosecutor did all day, the recognition was enough to keep her and her classmates abuzz through the afternoon.

"Children who are bullied experience real suffering," Hynes told reporters and the honorees at a press conference Monday morning. "Children who've been identified as bullies by age 8 are six times more likely to be convicted of a crime by age 24."

In the class from P.S. 186's winning video, a fake newscast is interrupted by surveillance footage of two girls studying at a table with a third constantly one-upping her. That is, until Rashid's character, Super Nice Guy, bursts in.

"My bully sensor was going off," he says. The girls deny doing anything wrong, but he patiently explains what bullying is. "I know you might not have realized you were hurting her feelings, but when you make fun of people... you could be making somebody feel bad," he says.

The girls apologize in the end, thanking Super Nice Guy. "Be a friend, not a bully," says the newscast's announcer.

"We've had hundreds of requests from high schools and not-for-profit organizations," around the issue of cyberbullying, Hynes said. "There's no question in my mind that a child who engages in bullying repeatedly is someone who needs serious help."