Boston, MA (February 1, 2011) -"
Bullying is everywhere"in the classroom, on the bus, in the hallway, in the lunch line, at recess, on Facebook and YouTube, at sports events and practices, and at after school programs. Young teens, Michael and Marisa, see it happening to their friends, they observe cyberbulling online on the social networks, and they see kids fearful of speaking up when others they know are being bullied. To tackle the bullying issue head on and save innocent kids from lifelong bullying scars and emotional pain, recording artists, Michael and Marisa, the Boston area born and bred sibling musical duo recently released the song and video, "The Same"; a song penned by Michael and Marisa with music producer Peter Zizzo (Avril Lavigne and Vanessa Carlton). The video was released on January 27, 2011, during National No Name Calling Week. Student to student, they want their message to be heard and the anti-bullying movement to get stronger. The name of the song, "The Same", fits the subject well since children in all grade levels use "difference" as a reason to discriminate, exclude, and make fun of their peers.
The duo wanted to write a song that would be for kids by kids, explaining to them that they have options. The goal of "The Same" is to get the bystander in a bullying situation to take action. It is reported that 9 out of 10 bullying cases are not reported, and according to a 2010 study by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) 80 percent of girls and 53 percent of boys reported some type of bullying during high school which are alarming statistics. It is the kids who stand there and watch the bullying take place who Michael and Marisa want to be impacted by their song and video. The song takes you through the mind of the bystander as she deliberates what she should do when she sees a girl being bullied in the cafeteria. She weighs whether it is really worth being a part of the "popular" crowd if their behavior hurts other people in a very serious way. Throughout the video you see her observing and thinking about what kind of person she wants to be. Michael and Marisa feel that kids will listen to other kids even more than they will respond to adults.
Bullying is not a new problem in schools, but it is one that has come to the forefront in America this past year due to several heart wrenching cases that impacted schools, families and students - most recently when Nine Massachusetts teenagers were charged with involvement in the bullying of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince in South Hadley that led to her committing suicide in January 2010. Michael and Marisa decided at that point that they wanted to help the schools and bullying victims with an anti-bullying song. Thirty percent (30%) of U.S. students in grades six through ten are involved in moderate or frequent bullying -- as bullies, as victims, or as both -- according to the results of the first national school bullying statistics and cyber bullying statistics survey on this subject.
With lyrics like "I don't know your name but I know who you are, You sit by yourself in the cafeteria, And everybody cool, They shoo you away, I'm quiet while they're laughing." It's clear that Marisa, in the third person, truly understands and relates to this issue in a unique way; not necessarily from the point of having been bullied herself, but as someone who is in the age demographic, she is in a position to see and hear people being bullied first hand. Knowing the duo understand the pain bullying can cause makes the song all the more poignant.
The lyrics continue" "ALL OF MY FRIENDS, ALL OF THEIR CLOTHES, THAT'S NOT WHERE IT ENDS, AND SOMETIMES THEY GO TOO FAR, ALL OF THE THINGS THAT KEEP US APART, TAKE THEM ALL AWAY AND WE ARE THE SAME." The message here is that bullies are no better than everyone else, and once that is understood we can all work together and be happy in school. We can sit together, not be separated on the bus, the school hallways or in class, and most importantly no longer need to be afraid.
The pop stars hope their song reaches bullies and those unfairly being bullied..."If our song causes even one bystander to take a stand, that one action could be the start of a chain of events that could help to stop bullying." Michael and Marisa are contributing 20% of all sales of "The Same" - available soon on iTunes - to the national bullying organization, Pacer International.
CNN has featured the song on their website, and Build a Bear workshop plays "The Same" internationally in Bearville on their web site. Also in connection with "The Same", they have been interviewed by or received press from: Pacer International, J-14, PBS, Fox Teen Kids News, Parents magazine, TheStarScoop.com, Pixie, Relate magazine, Long Island Ch. 7 News, Stars2Come, Camplified, Popyoularity.com, kidsturncentral.com, werekickinit.com and Trendy Tweens Magazine. Recently the star duo became national Peer Role Models for the Rocky Marciano organization, Bullying"We're Kickin It. Michael and Marisa are also performing at anti-bullying symposiums in schools across the country. Music departments are singing the song, students are helping us post the video across all social networks, and national bullying awareness and prevention programs are featuring it on their websites. Only one week after releasing the video it is already making and difference with close to 15,000 views on YouTube. Additionally, dozens of anti-bullying organizations have requested to post it on their websites.
The YouTube comments on Michael and Marisa's Channel, confirm the intensity of the emotions these young kids struggle with. As one fan posted, "You know its funny how when bullies in middle school get to high school and they are theï»¿ ones who every one hates." Another fan posted, "Love this song"Whyï»¿ can't kids learn that you don't have to like someone, you just have to respect and be considerate of others feelings. Not everyone needs to be a best friend, but there is nothing wrong with being nice. I wish kids knew how much their words hurt, and how much it hurts to be excluded by someone who use to be a best friends. It hurts deeply when a best friend just walks away without letting you know why. This song says it all and the video shows what happens."
For more information on Michael and Marisa please visit their website at
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/michaelandmarisa
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