June 5, 2014 at 7:20 PM
MONTVILLE, NJ – On Friday, May 31, the students of Lazar Middle School were visited by The Teen Nation Tour, which is a peer-to-peer community service program created to educate and entertain youth about bullying in a way students can relate – through music.
One of the performers touring the nation to help raise awareness of just how serious bullying has become is Zach Matari. Matari was born and raised in Montville and graduated from MTHS in 2012.
“It’s wonderful that Zach has decided to ‘come home’,” Lazar Middle School Principal Sharon Carr said. “We can never do this enough. Every chance we get to focus on anti-bullying is important. This connection is great because Zach is not only talented but ‘cool’ and look where he is now after sitting in this gym not too long ago.”
The Teen Nation Tour is free for schools and features young emerging recording artists from around the country who perform Top 40 country, pop and rock hits. Artists share personal bullying experiences, discuss the types of bullying and prevention options.
While thoughtfully engaging the students of Lazar in their messages about bullying, the performers of The Teen Nation tour treated all in attendance to quite an energetic show. The performers who joined Matari that day were Kristina Lachaga, Tru Fam and Darla Beaux.
Beaux’s message for the students was to not give bullying an audience.
“Each and every one of you are different, but that’s what makes you unique,” Beaux said. “So don’t be afraid to stand up for who you are.”
Lazar Assistant Principal John Piselli thanked all of the performers for coming out and sharing their anti-bullying messages which he felt were “very fitting for us in our school and in schools around the nation today”. He also thanked the Drug Awareness Council for providing the assembly.
“For all 8th graders, I want you to leave here today thinking about values, character and ethics,” Piselli said. “For all 7th graders, I give you a challenge next year to set a good example for the rest of the school and all 6th graders should focus on helping the incoming sixth grade class.”
The Teen Nation Tour was created and executed by former business owner, police officer and veteran Lee Wilson, 43, after his son was bullied and beaten on a school bus, videotaped, and posted on YouTube. He founded the tour to in an effort to take a stand against bullying and to provide young people a creative outlet to spread the anti-bullying message. What once started as a grassroots effort in 2012 with a few stops has quickly grown to more than 330 school and other venue performances in about 40 cities, 22 states, reaching more than a half-million people in 2014.