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Students bring anti-bullying message to the stage


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  The theme of bullying has been portrayed in books and movies for years, however real stories of bullying and its consequences seem to be daily news stories. In response to what seems to be a growing trend, many schools now have anti-bullying policies in place, but one local school is taking its bullying prevention message to the stage.

Pictured is the cast of Tussahaw Elementary's Let's Act Up Drama Club, who will present Bully Me NOT, the Musical tomorrow night at the Tabernacle of Praise Church International in McDonough.                                                 Special photo

  For the second consecutive year, Tussahaw Elementary School’s “Let’s Act Up” Drama Club is performing the original play Bully Me NOT, however this year made into a musical.

  The drama club, which includes third, fourth and fifth-grade students, will present the play, written by local playwright Annetta Swift, tomorrow night at the Tabernacle of Praise Church International, in McDonough. Swift is a playwright, author and actress. She said she was inspired to write the play, in part based on some of her own experiences as a young child.

  “I was bullied as a child, so it’s a subject I can relate to,” said Swift. “We deal with a several serious themes in the play, but it’s a story that needs to be told. There are too many real stories of young people seeing only one way out of being bullied.”

  Students have been working on the play and rehearsing since the fall, guided by a team of dedicated volunteers, including Swift as the director, music teacher Scott Keesey as the musical director, choreographer Ronda Johnson and Neomia Coleman, Parent Involvement Professional for Tussahaw Elementary, who has coordinated both the drama club and the production. 

  The play takes on the serious theme of bullying and its consequences in a sensitive yet powerful story that follows a series of vignettes, where students act out scenes of children being bullied, and how the school officials, and the children, deal with it. The show brings bullying, its effects and positive ways to deal with it to the forefront in an entertaining show for the whole family.

  Bully Me NOT, the Musical will be presented, tomorrow night, Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at the Tabernacle of Praise Church International, located at 1640 Highway 42 North in McDonough, at the intersection of Jodeco Road and Highway 42. Admission is free and open to the public.



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