Every day, we listen to music. Simple notes and catchy beats have the ability to lift our spirits and bring some measure of peace. Often, music is an avenue of escape for our friends, family, and children. This is amplified when bullying is involved.
There is an epidemic of young lives being cut short because of bullying. So, when I heard of a non-profit using the voices of musician’s to speak out against bullying, I knew I had to write about it.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
- Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.
- A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying.
- 10 to 14-year-old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above.
- According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying. (source)
We see celebrities taking up various causes, but nothing hits closer to home than bullying. My son is a victim of bullying. As a parent, I can talk to him, get him counseling, but when he sees celebrities speaking out on a subject that affects him directly, it is an extremely valuable tool.
There are various organizations that help teens deal with bullying, but I haven’t seen one sector of the entertainment industry dedicate time to this cause. That is until I was told about Musicians Opposed to Bullying. or M.O.B.
“At Musicians Opposed To Bullying we promote hope and inspiration through messages from musicians who stand with us in the fight against bullying. We believe that every child should be safe from bullying and free to be themselves. We encourage individuality, strength in self and courage to stand up for what you believe in. We are commited to helping our youth understand that they are not alone and that there is always someone to inspire them to stay strong. We do not just offer anti-bullying messages from the artists they look up to. We offer hope.” M.O.B’s Mission Statement
This is a cause that every celebrity should lend their voice to. Founder Courtney Campbell certainly thought so.
Courtney Campbell started MOB because of Brandon Bitner’s death.
Brandon was a 14-year-old, straight-A student, he played the violin and had a good group of friends. He attended Midd-West High School in rural Pennsylvania. The school was a creative outlet for Brandon, but it was also the root of misery for him. He was called names “faggot” or “sissy” and the torment proved to be too much for Brandon to bear. Brandon ended his life by running in front of an 18 wheeler on an interstate. (Source)
Campbell, who read about Brandon’s story was so deeply moved that she felt compelled to step up and try to end bullying. She worked as a nurse and photographer and believed that the music industry could use their voices to bring attention to this cause. Courtney traveled the country recording messages from artists she met. She was able to speak to artists she found at shows. She spent her summers with Warped Tour and recorded PSAs spreading the message of hope.
In December of 2015 Courtney Campbell passed away, but prior to her death, she asked those closest to her to continue and keep this movement going. Campbell’s friends and family honored her wishes and redesigned the M.O.B website by getting updated PSAs. Musicians Opposed to Bullying has had a tremendous response from artists all across the globe. Most importantly they are sharing their stories of bullying and inspiring our young people to believe in themselves. M.O.B is run by people who have experienced bullying firsthand. They are parents of children who nearly lost their life because of bullying or as someone who was bullied extensively. The organization’s goal is to bring hope to the victims of bullying and remind them that they aren’t alone.
It’s important that our children know that, even in the midst of the storm, there are people out there that love and care about them, even if they don’t know it.
If you want to become an advocate against bullying, contact Sun at firstname.lastname@example.org