For our first segment of More Than Words, we met with Television Communications and Production teacher John Giambruno and an M-A student who requested anonymity.
You probably know Giambruno as the amicable, easy-going producer of “M-A Today.” What you might not know is that he is also a survivor of bullying.
Raised in San Mateo, California, Giambruno was first bullied in middle school, after news that his older brother was gay spread throughout his neighborhood. The physical bullying became so extreme that he had a knife brandished in his face several times at school.
During the interview, Giambruno’s eyes welled up with tears as he described the incidents; “I didn’t think this was gonna happen,” he told us. In retelling his experience it was clear, that events from years ago, still cause Giambruno pain, and that bullying often affects people more than words can say.
“[M-A] is a really long way from home, but it’s worth it,” said the student in our next interview. She wanted to get away.
Far away from the insults and abuse.
Far away from being hit with a bat and pushed in the hallways.
From being locked in the bathroom and forgotten for so long that it was only when the principal noticed her on the school cameras that the door was unlocked.
Her voice has been edited to protect her anonymity.