Lt. Gov. Simon praises Lake Zurich students’ effort to end dating abuse
Updated: March 22, 2013 10:06AM
LAKE ZURICH — Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon visited Lake Zurich High School on Friday to honor four students who won the statewide “No More Teen Dating Abuse” video contest.
Sponsored by Verizon Wireless and coordinated by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the contest invited students to submit a video calling for the end of teen dating violence while promoting healthy relationships.
On Friday, Simon recognized LZHS sophomores Kasia Konsor, Kati Stavropoulos Amanda Buckstaff and senior Ian Hesch for making the short video that stood out the most. All four received iPads and the high school received $1,000 as a result of their win.
“I want to congratulate you because what you are working on is part of changing our culture,” said Simon, pointing out that changing children’s perceptions of how people relate with one another is a step toward living in a better world.
Last week, Simon announced she will not seek reelection, deciding against another run on a ticket with Gov. Pat Quinn.
After the Simon’s presentation in the school’ performing arts center, Konsor admitted she was surprised when she got the email about the win.
The 56-second video was directed by Konsor and produced by Stavropoulos. Buckstaff and Hesch played the roles of the girlfriend and her abusive boyfriend.
“It was difficult to get my mind into that place,” Hesch said of his part.
In the video, Hesch harasses Buckstaff both verbally and physically. Meanwhile, a narrator rhetorically asks the viewers if they were able to see the signs of an abusive relationship.
The signs of an abusive relationship mentioned in the video included control, abuse, violence, anger, disrespect and jealously.
At the end of the video, a phrase flashes across the screen that says: “Love is safety, respect, understanding, care, communication, equality. Say ‘no’ to abuse and ‘yes’ to a healthy relationship.”
Vickie Smith, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said she and her staff found the video best communicated the importance of healthy relationships while still bringing awareness to the issue of abuse in teen relationships.
Smith said her coalition plans to launch additional efforts like the video contest.