Cincinnati singer Keenan West visited Compton Junior High to deliver anti-bullying message

Singer performed and talked with students

BAKERSFIELD - Compton Junior High has made a point of taking bullying seriously and talking directly to their students about it.

Today they had singer Keenan West of Cincinnati visit the school to talk about bullying and perform his anti-bullying song, 'Never Ever.' 

"Many of us believe that even when we see somebody being wronged we shouldn't step up and do something about it, and that's wrong," West told students Tuesday.

It was through one of his songs and music videos that the school's drama club found West last year.

The school's drama club was writing a play on bullying and wanted to borrow West's lyrics.

The school and West have continued a relationship that led to him coming to Compton Jr. High today.

"I'm trying to reach them in a slightly different way," West said. "Just using a more of a positive message and encourage them, try to have a good time. Try to have fun. Use it as something that they will remember, but then get right in there and talk about the issues of bullying."

Last year students started the "Compton Bully Project," an effort to stop bullying at Compton Jr. High.

"It needs to stop. Too much bullying going on. We need more ideas and we are getting those ideas," Tazi Starfire, a student involved with the project said. He was a student at Compton last year, but returned to see West today. 

School staff welcomed West as they have tried to be proactive, not wanting to learn about a bullying problem after the fact.

"We have to connect with the students," Theresa Louie, the school's academic program leader said. "You have to make those relationships with the kids. You have to be out there talking with them, or just be ready for them to come and talk to you whenever they need to."

West said he just wants to reach kids at Compton and around the country, and hopefully be part of a solution. 

"So when we look around our country and we look around and see people being hurt, kids being hurt, kids taking their own lives, kids showing up to schools possibly because of bullying with guns and retaliating, that is an issue. That is an issue for all of us," West said.

West is hoping that more than just the message will help with bullying. 50 cents from every song download and 50 percent of his apparel sales go to Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center.

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