Special Broadway performance to fight bullying

March 7, 2012 2:57:09 PM PST
A special performance is coming to Broadway and it will help fight bullies across the country.

"It would be good if everybody would just get along," said Ousseynou Camara, safety patrol member.

It's something 10-year-old Ousseynou Camara is committed to seeing happen at P.S. 86.

He's a member of the school safety patrol, a group of students who help weed out bullying.

"If people aren't respectful and kind to each other, then the place might be in chaos," Camara said.

School officials say the idea of forming a patrol came up after seeing how well another program was doing, "Operation Respect" and the "Don't Laugh at Me Program".

It's a global effort focused on building students up instead of breaking them down.

"We want the children to use these children as role models and it has worked," said Debra Handler, of P.S. 86.

Operation Respect is the brainchild of activist and artist Peter Yarrow, of the trio "Peter, Paul and Mary".

Eyewitness News caught up with him at a rehearsal for a musical based on the same principals as his program.

He says this all started with a song and book.

"You don't have to be my friend, but is it too much to ask don't laugh at me," Yarrow said.

The words were inspiration for his non-profit that promotes civility and conflict resolution.

"It's about young people growing up with a caring, giving hearts. It's about young people not becoming a part of the mean spiritedness and ridicule that's a sport now in the U.S.," Yarrow said.

Each year, the creators of this theater group, focus on a cause and hold a benefit on Broadway.

This year, it's Peter's organization.

Everyone is hoping the audience walks away with a greater sense of community.

"The more we're touching every single human being who will learn to treat one another with love and respect, even if half the world starts doing that, the other half would get it you know," said Molly Blau, of What's the Benefit, Inc.

For tickets and more information about Operation Respect please visit:



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