Published: August 14, 2013
"Emily is fat."
"Hannah's so ugly she needs to wear a bag on her head."
"Mark is as dumb as my baby sister."
Bullying, particularly online remarks made over social media, is a sad reality for students from elementary school through high school.
"Everyone knows it's happening. The problem is we have lots of assemblies, but it doesn't seem like anything's being done," said Anastasie Moise, a 16-year-old Sand Creek High School student.
"Bullying is not always recognized and brought into the light."
But the issue will take center stage on Saturday, as Falcon School District 49 hosts the first-ever Stand Up Speak Out concert to end bullying.
Held at Security Service Field, with doors opening at 2 p.m., the opening ceremonies at 3 p.m. and a lineup of numerous musical artists performing until a fireworks show at 9:05 p.m., the concert also will feature speakers from national anti-bullying organizations.
Anastasie is a member of the Street Team from her school, which has been working with students from other schools to organize the event.
"We want to bring awareness to this issue, and what better way than through music - it's such a big part of teenagers' lives," she said.
The hope is that by raising awareness, more kids and adults will feel empowered to stop bullying.
"Social media is becoming our lives and lessening face-to-face interaction. The emotional pain from ridiculing on Facebook, Twitter and anonymous sites is really bad," Anastasie said.
Organizers expect several thousand people to attend the public concert, which is open to students, families and school staff from across the region. In addition to performers such as American Idol's Devyn Rush and multi-platinum alternative rock band Vertical Horizon, Be Your Own magazine will conduct a role-model search.
A D-49 alum is one of the singers - Bree Bremser, a graduate of Sand Creek High School, is part of The BottomLine, an indie-country duo.
Junior ROTC cadets from Falcon High School and Sand Creek High School will present the colors, and two seventh graders from Skyview Middle School, Tatum Brouse and Breslin Walls, will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Tickets are available at http://tinyurl.com/D49StandUpSpeakOut. The cost is $15. Tickets for youth 12 years and under, seniors 55 years and older, and military ID card holders are $13.
The event is being funded through local and national sponsors, along with ticket sales.