Edina High School Graduate Wins Award for Bullying Documentary

Updated: 01/16/2013 5:20 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

An Edina High School graduate will be honored this week for a documentary he created about bullying in Minnesota.

Alec Fischer, 19, created the film "Minnesota Nice?" while a high school senior. The documentary features interviews from more than three dozen students from 10 schools across Minnesota. Many of the students share their stories about being bullying.

Since the film debuted last summer, it's been shown in schools across the country and as far away as Israel, Fischer said.

On Friday, Fischer will receive an award from PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons) as part of the group's second annual state conference aimed at reducing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bullying in Minnesota.

"I have been very connected on a personal level to bullying," Fischer said.

Middle school classmates began bullying Fischer regarding his sexuality in the sixth grade, he said. The bullying became so severe that Fischer considered suicide. Today, Fischer regrets not reporting the incidents and seeking help from school officials.

Fischer, who plans to study film production in college, said he created the documentary to show students who are being bullied that there are people who care.  

"You could be bullied for anything," Fischer said. "This is a universal problem."

In addition to Friday's award, Fischer also was selected this month as the 2012 Edina Person of the Year. Winning PFLAG's student award is an honor, Fischer said.

"The work that I'm doing has never been about me," he said. "It's always been about trying to protect as many students as possible and letting them know there are people who care."

The conference begins 8:15 a.m. Friday at Hamline University in St. Paul, with tickets ranging from $50 to $100. Registration is available by calling Jackie Stone at 612-245-1483, or sending an email to Conference2012@PLAGTC.com.