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The Buchanan Boys cut a track on bullying
Project takes the bullies and the bullied, turns them into friends
A boy-band foursome of kindergarteners released a new track and gave their world-premiere performance, but as of last week they were still waiting on their limo ride.
The Buchanan Boys, who hail from Buchanan Elementary School, got together with educational assistant/writer/producer Gill Tyrell to cut an original anti-bullying track titled Don’t Bully Me.
Three months of practice culminated on Friday last week with posters, a CD release (four of them, one for each band member) and a performance in front of about 260 students at the K-5 school.
"It was great," Tyrell said.
"One parent said that her son had trouble sleeping, he was so excited about it."
The only disappointment on the day was the limo didn’t show up to take the band to McDonalds, but Tyrell remedied that on Monday with a limo ride to get ice cream.
Tyrell said he decided to collaborate with the boys because he’d noticed each of them had some experience with bullying — either on the giving or receiving end.
The band members are five-year-olds ‘Hassan the Hilarious’ and ‘Magic Matthew’ and six-year-olds ‘Bradley Dynamite’ and ‘Dreden Marvellous.’
They granted an interview to The Metro to discuss their musical efforts and the insights they’ve gained from it.
"Don’t bully me, don’t put me down, don’t push me to the ground. I’m not like you, I’m just me. So please, please, please don’t bully me," the boys sang, a cappella, at the start of the interview, to give a taste of the song they’d been working on.
They related an anecdote of some recent hallway violence averted.
"I stopped the fight," Matthew said, "I said ‘easy, stop now.’"
Dreden recalls another hallway intervention, involving a girl who was being picked on.
"All of our team said ‘don’t hit her.’"
The experience of spending lunchtime practising their anti-bullying song together has made the boys better friends. During the interview they referred to themselves several times as a "team" — the success or failure of which can depend upon their reaction to bullying.
When asked what they would do if someone was trying to pick a fight with them, Matthew said he would tell the person to stop.
"If we fight him back then we won’t be part of a team," he said.
Tyrell, 52, who was a provincial constable for eight years in Alberta and a bodyguard to the late Premier Ralph Klein, does his share of playground duty at Buchanan.
He said the boys now come to him to get help with issues, or walk away from fights, and he saw two of them pull another one away from a fight.
"I really liked that. That was probably the best thing," Tyrell said.
Bullying is a problem in any school, Tyrell said, especially one like Buchanan where there’s a "diverse background."
"I’m trying to teach these kids that fighting’s not the answer… hopefully, this song will be the answer," he said.
Tyrell said the boys are enjoying a bit of a celebrity status since their Friday performance, with even the school custodian proclaiming it an honour to clean the floor for The Buchanan Boys.
"Someone asked them ‘why do you get to go in a limo?’ and one of the boys said ‘well, we’re The Buchanan Boys.’"
See the YouTube video "Buchanan Boys Present: Don’t Bully Me" below.
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