Vocalist Maria Brink of Southern California’s IN THIS MOMENT taped a three-minute public service announcement (PSA) for the Musicians Opposed To Bullying(M.O.B.) web site addressing the ever-growing problem of bullying, and especially cyber-bullying — the use of technology such as the Internet and phone texting to harass or humiliate others. Check it out below.
Said Brink: “[Bullying] is one of the worst things that there is to do.
“When I was a teenager in school — like, 13 or 14 [years old] — I had a shaved head and I wore sweatshirts every day. Nobody ever knew if I was a boy or a girl and I was in something called ‘Focus,’ which was, actually, like the kids-at-risk program; they didn’t know if we were gonna graduate or whatever, and we were called burnouts. I completely, 100 percent got bullied, and I’d still stick up for myself and try to be strong, but it was always so deeply painful.
“What kids out there who are getting bullied need to know is that it’s not OK. There’s a lot of reach-out programs, people that you can talk to, people that can help you figure out how to get an answer to the problem. And if you are unique and you are different and you’re an artist and you don’t fit in with everybody else, what you need to realize is that that’s actually a blessing — that makes you unique and that makes you special — and in the long run, in the big scheme of things, it’s gonna be something that makes you have your own identity. Embrace who you are, and if people don’t understand you, that’s their own problem, that’s their own insecurities. They’re really the one with the problem — the people who are judging you and saying negative things to you, they are really the people with the problem, not you at all. And if you are the person [doing the] bullying, it is the most horrible, deep-penetrating, painful thing you can do to a young child who is striving to become who they are and to see what they wanna do. And it’s not cool at all. It doesn’t make you popular, it doesn’t make you anything. It actually is damaging to their lives, to their future. And if you see someone getting bullied, you need to step in and you need to be brave and you need to do the right thing and say, ‘This is not OK. It is not cool to treat someone mean or hurtful.’ People kill themselves over these things. People hide, they don’t have friends, and it’s not cool. So tell somebody. If you see somebody getting bullied, step in, be the difference. Make the difference.”