Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A Maryland actor is teaming up with teachers in the fight against bullying.
As Gigi Barnett reports, the actor says this new role is much different from what students know of him on TV.
Best known for his role as a low-level drug dealer on HBO’s hit show “The Wire,” actor Tray Chaney has a new gig.
He’s penned an original hip hop song and music video with an anti-bullying message to reach Maryland students.
The song is called “Mike Bully” and is about a boy who finds the courage to stand up to his bullies.
“I thought it was amazing. He did an awesome job at his video. I think he taught us a lot,” said Bradley Leverrett, Old Mill Middle student.
“I wanted to talk about subjects that really affect today’s society, and bullying was definitely one that stood out,” Chaney said.
The actor says it’s the school leaders who reached out to him.
So far, he’s visited numerous schools around the state. This week it was Old Mill Middle School in Anne Arundel County.
He says the message is a stark contrast from what students may have seen of him on TV.
“As soon as they see me, they may automatically think ‘Poot.’ But, no. That was just a character. That was just an illusion. This is the real Tray Chaney that’s trying to give you all something positive,” Chaney said.
As Chaney’s song rings out in the school’s auditorium, school leaders hope it reaches students on social websites, where cyberbullying exists.
“Now it’s like everyone has a Facebook or a Twitter, Instagram or a cell phone. You can be contacted and bullied in many different ways,” said Kassia Kopczynski, Old Mill Middle student.
“I’ve seen it destroy a lot of children in regards to their spirits and things of that nature. It’s just a horrible way to treat others,” said Stacy Smith, Old Mill Middle assistant principal.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, but Chaney says he plans to visit schools until the end of the school year.
Chaney is also working on a second campaign to promote safe sex practices.
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