Anti-bullying music fest coordinated by COM prof and nonprofits
As a student flips backward across the stage, screams and cheers erupt from the audience.
No ordinary performance, the No Bully Here Music Fest promotes kindness and respect.
High school and middle school students performed an anti-bully cheer, a skit on facing racism, a rendition of “Tarantella” and a dance on inclusion.
“I did learn we do have to stick together,” said student Brittani Wilson, 12.
The state of Texas and U.S. House of Representatives proclaimed Sept. 30 No Bully Here Day. Performers at the No Bully Here Day Music Fest at Miller Outdoor Theatre included the Jack Yates High School Marching Band, Stevenson Middle School students, Chavez High School students, Inertia Dance Co. from Westside High School, Music Doing Good and Houston Young Artists.
College of the Mainland professor Paul Boyd helped coordinate the event along with Travis Hamilton of No Bully Here.
“It’s for kids, by kids,” said Boyd. “It’s music and art doing good.”
The event was inspired in part by Hamilton’s experience with Internet harshness.
“25 years ago I was in New York doing a performance and the next day I had a write-up in Yahoo and it wasn’t a good write-up. The next day I felt like everyone on the plane had read this write-up,” remembered Hamilton. “I figure kids don’t have a chance unless we stand up and do what we can. No Bully Here is all about making sure you include others.”
The fifth annual event supports schools’ curricula.
“We’re required to give a (technology and social media) policy so this goes with that, treating people with respect,” said Drew Academy teacher Brooke Martin. “Social media use is so heavy right now so we’d rather teach them the proper way (to use it) rather than have them figure it out on their own.”
The event ended with a "Watch Me/Whip Nae Nae" dance with the Jack Yates High School Marching Band joined by Houston firefighters and police officers.
For more information about No Bully Here, visit nobullyhere.org.