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Pupils' anti-bigotry film to be shown in schools
A DVD has been produced by students at two North Lanarkshire schools - one Catholic, the other non-denominational. The launch of the film comes after the Scottish government announced extra funding to combat bigotry.
It is hoped that the DVD will eventually be made available to schools across Scotland, along with teaching materials. The project was the idea of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, who wanted the anti-sectarian message to be delivered in schools.
Students from Bellshill Academy and Cardinal Newman High School nearby collaborated on the project, producing a script and filming the story in their free time. Some of them also acted in the film, which highlights the serious consequences of engaging in hate crime.
It portrays a boy being put under peer pressure to avenge a sectarian attack on his girlfriend. He sets fire to the door of a house, not realising people are inside - and is left to reflect on his life when he is imprisoned for murder.
The film will be piloted in schools across North Lanarkshire before becoming available throughout Scotland.
The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said: "It is vital that we speak to communities and young people to listen to their experiences of sectarianism and use these to help educate others. I hope the film will be used as a tool to inform young people of all ages. Its message about hate crime and the corrosive nature of bigotry is clear. I urge young people to challenge intolerance and create a society where sectarianism and bigotry are a thing of the past."