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Musical, Kickstarter Campaign Aim to Fight Bullying | Families

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Musical, Kickstarter Campaign Aim to Fight Bullying
Families, News, Schools
Musical, Kickstarter Campaign Aim to Fight Bullying

A Genesee County resident and 1986 Cheektowaga graduate is using her past experiences with bullying to raise awareness.

Lisa Barrett, singer-songwriter and prevention educator for the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, remembers what it was like to be teased as a child, some 30 years ago. 

Girls would laugh at her hand-me-down clothes and hairstyles. 

She also was always the last one standing in gym class, when classmates had to pick teams. 

“Bullying in any form hurts your self-esteem,” she said. “It can leave you feeling like you’re not good enough and that nobody likes you.  Sometimes it can make you downright afraid to go to school. “

Memories of those days came crashing back when a member of Barrett’s family was violently bullied.  He was held down by a few boys on a school bus seat and punched, all because they wanted to take his slice of pizza.

When Barrett heard what happened, she was shocked, angry and saddened.  Her first reaction was to write a song for him and all victims of bullying. She titled that song “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” 

Afterward, Barrett felt more needed to be done to share the anti-bullying message, prompting her to write the musical “Can’t Bully Me Now.” Area youth comprise the cast and crew.

“This is a fun way for youth to learn how they can help stop bullying while also gaining valuable life-lessons along the way,” Barrett said.

To coincide with the musical, Barrett also launched a crowd-funding campaign online at www.kickstarter.com to raise $30,000.  Titled “Can’t Bully Me Now Project,” the campaign aims to help end bullying by allowing Barrett to produce the musical for use in schools nationwide. Rewards for various donation levels include the musical script, a CD of the songs, piano score, story book and the W.U.G. stuffed animal.

W.U.G. is part of the musical storyline and teaches children – both victims and bystanders – to:

  • Walk away if you are being bullied.
  • Use your voice to tell the bully to stop.
  • Get help from a trusted adult.

For more information on the Kickstarter campaign or to make a donation, visit www.kickstarter.com and search “Can’t Bully Me Now Project.” The campaign ends at 10:52 a.m. Monday, Nov. 24. If the campaign does not hit the $30,000 goal, the project will not be funded.

For more information on the musical, visit www.cantbullymenow.com.

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