A US teenager was suspended by her school after her impassioned video about the effects of school bullying went viral.
Emily Gipson, 16, from Tennessee, performed the moving spoken word poem in response to the suicide of a female student at Lebanon High School.
Filmed in an empty classroom, she speaks honestly about the lasting mental effects bullying has had on her and other students Her video, titled Welcome to Lebanon High School, has been viewed 500,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube on January 22.
"Welcome to Lebanon High School where you come to be analysed from head to toe every day by people you don't even know," she says in the video.
She condemns the school's ineffectiveness on bullying and claims she got lame responses from the school like "they didn't mean it". By the end of the five-minute video she is in tears as she recounts her moving story.
Lebanon High School authorities were unhappy at Gipson's social media post and handed her a two-day suspension. According to Gipson, staff said her poem "incited violence while on the school campus".
Speaking with a local newspaper, principal Scott Walters said he and fellow staff were hurt by her accusations. They say she was given the punishment because she used a school classroom during class time to film the video.
"What I did have a problem with was that it was videoed on school campus in a classroom without the teacher's permission. It would have been better if she had done it at home and away from school."
Gipson has since uploaded a response following the enthusiastic online reception of her video.