Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 19, 2013

The bully bashers speak out

Kokomo men use hip-hop music to address bullies.

Nineteen-year-old Trenton Lewis wants to change the message hip-hop music is sending to kids across the country.

The Kokomo High School graduate envisions songs that inspire change and songs that promote safer schools instead of ones that glorify drugs and violence. He wants to push the negativity out of music.

“That’s the way it should be,” he said.

Lewis and his music group Squad Gang have joined the “Bully Basher” anti-bullying music tour.

The movement was started in March by Indianapolis deejay Oliver Jackson and MTV JAMZ artist and Kokomo man kCAne MarkCO.

The group has plans to play in schools throughout the country and in as many Indiana schools as possible. Their goal is to end bullying one song and story at a time.

“I feel like we can stop it,” Lewis said. “We can touch these people with our messages.”

He said everyone remembers a time when they were picked on in school. Everyone has a story.

MarkCO was bullied as a child. When he got sick of it, he decided to learn how to box.

He gained strength and confidence and went from victim to advocate. He stood up for other kids who were picked on like him.

He tried to resolve the issues peacefully by telling the bullies to go away. But when that didn’t work, he used his fists.

That’s how he earned the nickname “bully basher.”

Lewis said violence isn’t the answer, though.

He’s a mixed martial arts fighter, but he wants to show kids they can solve their problems in a different way.

Children need to speak out to end bullying, he said. The victims need to tell their stories and the bystanders need to tell someone about the bullying they saw, he said.

He wants to show the bullies that bullying isn’t cool anymore.

Lewis said he’s tired of hearing about kids who suffered so much at the hands of bullies that they decided suicide was the only option.

“The bullying has been getting worse,” he said. “It’s gotten to the extreme. It’s mayhem.”

MarkCO said he found out that 14 percent of bullying victims commit suicide. He couldn’t believe it, he said. Even 1 percent is too high.

“They literally take their lives because they can’t take it anymore,” he said. “How can you stand by when this is happening?”

MarkCO said their anti-bullying program is two hours of music and messages about respecting others.

The idea is that kids will be able to relate to the message because it’s delivered through the kind of music they listen to every day.

“We’re using our voices to reach them,” he said. “Music controls a lot of people.”

Lewis just hopes he grabs children’s attention long enough to get an important message across.

“I would love to help these kids stand up to bullying,” he said.


For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Mac talent show 01 lf Maconaquah students, alumni take the stage for 50th annual variety show

    BUNKER HILL - When students from Bunker Hill and Clay Township schools suddenly found themselves walking the same halls in the new Maconaquah High School, they needed something to rally around as they formed their new school identity. That's when Pow

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS - KT041714 - Bunker Hill child neglect arrests - CLG - pic1 Miami Co. couple face charges of neglect after children found malnourished BUNKER HILL - Two Bunker Hill children have been placed in foster care after officials discovered they were living in a dilapidated house with no heat or running water and were exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. In relation to the case, police Mon

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Maconaquah School Corp. to add new preschool program PERU -- In an effort to meet the needs of Miami County's young children, Maconaquah School Corp. is set to expand its preschool programs next school year. The school district is starting a "Little Braves Academy" preschool program, in addition to its

    April 17, 2014

  • $3.27M grant will boost technical training at Ivy Tech Kokomo Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region just received a $3.27 million boost from the federal government to expand programs dedicated to preparing high school students for careers in industrial technology. Ivy Tech's Integrated Technology Education P

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS KT 041714 pic traveling diplomat Kokomo senior Craig Simon to be traveling diplomat The chance to travel the globe, earn college credits and get paid sounds too good to be true, but it's about to be reality for Kokomo High School senior Craig Simon. The Kokomo School Corp. board of education approved a recommendation Monday to make

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea deal filed in Kokomo murder-for-hire plot A Kokomo woman accused of plotting to kill her daughter's boyfriend pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday as part of a proposed plea deal. Police arrested Christy Shaffer, 41, in September on a conspiracy to commit murder charge after she alleged

    April 17, 2014

  • Tabitha Mitkus Heroin found in hotel room bust Kokomo police seized heroin, pills, cocaine and stolen property in an early morning, motel room bust. Tabitha B. Mitkus, 24, 2000 block of Pontiac Court, was arrested at Garden Inn, 4021 S. Lafountain St., after hotel staff reported suspicious activi

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North split restrictions on Monday The Indiana Department of Transportation will restrict traffic at the single-lane ramp that connects U.S. 31 to southbound Ind. 931 on the north side of Kokomo — weather permitting — on Monday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remedial repairs along the 200-

    April 16, 2014

  • BK rebuild 04 Peru restaurant B-K West rebuilding after tornado

    PERU -- B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native said. "We used to walk the tracks o

    April 16, 2014 7 Photos

  • Congresswoman Susan Brooks backs manufacturing training efforts Congresswoman Susan Brooks' own personal manufacturing experience may have been limited to three months in a Kendallville caramel factory as a college student, but in her congressional roles, she's having an impact on the skills debate. In Kokomo Tue

    April 16, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.