Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Fine Arts and Bullying

This past weekend I went our high school's musical performance. While the majority of the cast was female, there were several males who played important roles in the production.  As a sat in the audience, I glanced around the auditorium and was happy to see many other high school students show their support of the school's musical production and of their classmates. Across the aisle from me were several students I was surprised to see in attendance. They rarely came to support their fellow classmates in athletic or fine arts events.

About a third of the way through the production when a male cast member came on stage for the first time, this row of four students made a loud, verbal acknowledgement of his presence. And then I saw a phone come out of one student's pocket and begin to find the perfect angle for a picture. My mind swirled of what the he was going to do with the instant photo. I made eye contact with the student and he put his phone down without snapping a picture, but several times through out the production, he tried to sneak his phone out. Again, this action received aisle glares from me. He was unsuccessful during all his attempts. At intermission, several audience members asked who the students were and complained of their behaviors. Another teacher informed administration of their behaviors and they were monitored throughout the second act, until they became frustrated with the constant supervision of their behaviors and left the performance.

As I sat there and thought about the situation, it made me even more proud of the students on stage who set their anxieties, nerves, and fears aside to find the courage to perform in front of two hundred community members.  The amount of time and dedication they put forth to achieving a successful show, was admirable.  However, these other students who chose to pay money for admission, sit in the back row and in hope to poke fun of another student because he chose to participate in a school activity, angered me. I wanted to ask the students, if they felt they were so much better than the other students on stage, why hadn't they had enough courage to try out, be on stage and share their talents with others.  I already knew the answer though. They were cowards.... just like all the other bullies of the world.  And cowards never achieve much in life because they are always too busy putting other people down instead of working to reach their own life goals.

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