Logan Taylor and Jordan Thorn have dealt with bullying on a personal level in their lives. That’s why this talented pair of performers has put together a highly effective and entertaining program called “Blow Up Bullying.”
The two made appearances around the county last week, ending with a performance at Eastside School in front of a crowd of Dibrell students who were bused to the show.
The reaction from the sixth- and seventh-graders was enthusiastic as Thorn and Taylor addressed the problem of bullying and the damage it does to the well-being and self-esteem of two of society’s most vulnerable age groups, elementary and high school students.
The duo danced and sang their way into the hearts of their audience by pointing out it’s OK to be who you are.
School counselor Shawn Polombo says she feels the program is a good way to let the students know bullying is not acceptable.
“Bullying seems to be a problem, not just at our school, but all the schools,” Polombo said. “And we just wanted to have someone come and represent those who have been bullied, and these two have. They want to share the message: “Do not bully others. Do not treat others like they don’t fit in.”
Taylor’s grandfather, Warren County Commissioner Les Trotman, said he is proud of Logan’s efforts.
“I think the program was excellent,” Trotman said. “The message they got out to the kids was very informative. Bullying has become a very bad problem. It’s not like it was 40 or 50 years ago. You now have cyber-bullying on the Internet, so things have really changed.”
Taylor says his interest in music and performance, rather than sports, along with his slight stature, led to some labeling. As a result, he decided to use his talent to battle the stereotypes.
“When I was younger I got bullied all the time,” Taylor said. “So liking to entertain anyway, I figured what better way to fight bullying than by entertaining people and inspiring them at the same time, and teach them the lesson that bullying is not OK and not acceptable.”
Taylor says the message he wants to get across is it’s OK to be different, and all kids have a lot to offer. He says being ostracized and bullied drives some kids to despair and desperation.
“It’s absolutely the most important thing in the world,” Taylor said. “Because if you don’t feel included and important you don’t have any motivation to go on with your life, and that’s so not the case.”
Thorn agreed, noting she has dealt with the devastation bullying can cause.
“I’m involved in this anti-bullying campaign because I’ve seen bullying everywhere around me and it’s a huge issue everywhere,” Thorn said. “Everybody’s been bullied in some way or other. It’s touched my heart and changing those kinds of attitudes is something I want to be part of.”
Cyber-bullying is something Thorn is particularly concerned about.
“I think it really starts with parents educating their children on what’s acceptable and what isn’t acceptable, especially online,” Thorn said. “Because it is so hard to keep track of what your children are doing, I think parents need to get involved so we can stop this, and blow up bullying completely.”