blackandpurple These two talented young 
singer/songwriters have loaned their voices and their song, Black and Purple, to the fight against bullying. Brea and keyboardist Braiden Turner, both Ottawa teens, have joined The Canadian Red Cross RespectED program to create the Black and Purple Campaign to Prevent Bullying. The song is also included on Brea’s new CD called Ready To Fly.

Both young singer/songwriters recall the pain of being bullied in their younger years, and the harm—both emotional and eventually physical—it did. However, they wrote the song Black and Purple from the perspective of a bully, not a victim. “We realized that the bully must be going through something to want to hurt others. It helped take the anger away to write the song.”

The Canadian Red Cross RespectED program works with schools to help educators and students deal effectively with the devastating problem of bullying. During Bullying Awareness Week in November, Breanne and Braiden performed Black and Purple at Immaculata High School in Ottawa, and shared their personal experiences with students. About one in five kids are regularly bullied, and the effects can be overwhelming for some.

Researchers know that bullying can be harmful to both bullies and victims. A victim of bullying can be lured into gangs where he/she feels accepted and safe and some victims find pain-relief in drug and alcohol abuse. If there is no intervention, a bully can move on to date rape and even more violent crimes.

As authorities know all too well, the problem needs to be addressed NOW! “It’s definitely more than ‘just kid stuff’— and the entire community has a stake in stopping this behaviour,” says Elyse McCann, a Prevention Educator with Red Cross who presents to students in schools. “It’s great that the educators are making time and showing support for building a safe and respectful community in schools.”

Isle of Skye Productions has just produced the radio and television Black and Purple PSAs, scheduled for national release in September 2006.


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