Students Attend Anti-Bullying Conference

Sponsored by the Houston Anti Defamation League, "No place for Hate" is the youth summit today at the George R. Brown Convention Center. One highlight from the summit, a play that deals with the lives of a bully and a young girl he picks on.

The play is called True Confessions of a Bully. It’s performed by the Dionysus Theater, a group made of both disabled and nondisabled actors. Deborah Nowinski is the founder and is also the writer of the play.

“I kind of wanted to write this play as a gift to my actors, who are disabled, as a gift to empower them and to empower others. Talk about their experiences what it felt like to be bullied, a person with a disability how it feels.”

The story takes place in one day at a school. Nina  played by actress Kelly White is a girl who is picked on constantly at school. This is a scene towards the end when she confronts the bully:

“How could you do this to me? How could text that picture to so many people? You know words hurt. Words can hurt so much more than just being hit.”

White believes it’s important for people of all ages to see the play.

“Not even just kids. For adults, like for parents of kids who are in school, because they experience this stuff as well. I think this show really is very truthful about what it’s like to be a bully, what it’s like to be bullied, what it’s like to know a bully.”

The play and the Youth Summit are sponsored by the Anti Defamation League. More than 600 students are expected to attend.  The ADL’s Dena Marks says the yearly event is growing in popularity.

“It goes well every year and it continues to grow every year. More schools are interested in it. We have more no place for hate schools. So there are more schools available to participate in it and so it’s going very well.”

As for the play, it culminates in a big scene in which Nina, the one who is bullied, confronts the bad guy. I asked actress Kelly White if there’s a big fight scene that leaves the bully with a bloody nose or black eye.

“I don’t really get to fight. I get to try to fight, and you know that’s really good in the show, because even though she was being victimized, it shows it’s still not okay to do that.”

The play and youth summit are at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Any school wanting the group to perform the play at their school can contact the Anti Defamation League or the Dionysus Theater.