Vermont PSA Challenge: “See Something, Say Something”

Sponsored by the Governor’s Office, Vermont-NEA & Vermont Agency of Education

Click here to submit your entry. Please carefully read all the guidelines below.

Your Mission: Create a video exactly 25 or 55 seconds that highlights the importance of supporting the approach promoted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” Campaign.

Your Audience:  Vermont students in high school and middle school.

Who is eligible: Vermont high school and middle school students. You may submit an entry as a team of two or more students from your school’s video production or digital technology class. Students not enrolled in a formal video production program will need to form a partnership with students or teachers in a school-sanctioned program.  Each program can submit no more than two entries. The prize amounts will be awarded directly to the school’s program, not to individual students. Teachers within the school’s program can distribute the funds at their discretion.

Your topic: Each production will have one clear mission:  Create a PSA to encourage students to talk with adults when they are aware of other students considering harming themselves or others. This PSA will support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “See Something, Say Something” campaign. As we know from recent police and media reports, two potentially tragic events were thwarted in Vermont, due to young people speaking up about a possible violent situation. The PSA should reflect the importance of a community caretaking approach in preventing violence in our schools and neighborhoods and in preventing self-harm and hazing/harassment/bullying in our schools. This PSA should portray students doing the “right thing” by looking out for other students and community members.

How:  Students have creative license but must demonstrate good taste and remember that the video should be appropriate for young students. Do not create images of actual violence. Feel free to view other types of PSAs, including those produced by the Department of Homeland Security for adult viewers.

Remember, you are not addressing all the issues related to school safety. You are addressing the need for students to be vigilant without becoming vigilantes.

Video Guidelines: No entry will be accepted with footage of an actual act of violence portrayed.

  • Be either 25 or 55 seconds in length.

  • Avoid all branding in submissions, even in the background (i.e., product logos).

  • Make sure voices can be clearly heard if using dialogue.

  • Film should be your own personal creation, unless using news reports with permission.

  • You may incorporate your own original music composition, but do not use commercial music that you do not have copyright permission to use.

  • Videos should focus on the importance of all citizens being responsible for the safety of the greater community.

  • Videos may include other people, but no person should be included in the video without expressed permission. If requested, entrants must be able to provide written permission. Your teacher or school administrator can provide guidance if parental permission is required for minors.

  • Final videos must be delivered in High Definition and be broadcast-ready.

  • Save a copy of your video in one of the following formats:  .MOV, MP4 or .AVI.

Judging Criteria

  • Ability to capture the attention of others, specifically, the attention of your peer group.

  • Persuade others to say something when they see something, to talk with an adult in authority when they suspect peers are about to do harm to themselves or others.

  • Clarity of message – it must be understandable and well-structured.

  • Creativity -- the message won’t be lost in the noise of other programs

  • Video must be of high production quality


All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of broadcasters and representatives from the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont-NEA. All decisions will be final and not subject to grievance.

Prizes & Awards

First place:       $1,000 cash to the school’s video production program

Each team member will have the opportunity to be a “Vermont State Trooper for a Day” to experience another side of public safety

Second place:  $500 cash prize to the school’s video production program.

Third place:     $250 cash prize to the school’s video production program.

Submitting Your Application:  Once you have produced a video that complies with all the guidelines, upload your video on YouTube and note the URL. Click here to complete the online submission form. All submissions must be completed by March 20, 2019.

Awards Ceremony: Winners will be notified by April 1, 2019. An awards ceremony will be held at the Vermont State House in April.

The top three videos will be shown at the Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly on Saturday, April 6, at the Stoweflake Inn.

After the Ceremony:  The top three videos will become property of the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont-NEA. We request this “ownership” in order to use the videos to promote “See Something, Say Something” in Vermont schools. Videos will be shared on our websites, other digital platforms, and media outlets across the state.

Click here to submit your entry.

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