Inspired by the Ottawa teen Jamie Hubley, who committed suicide last fall after being bullied, Canadian Disney actress Jasmine Richards has launched an anti-bullying crusade, with a song and video "You Have The Power."
On 7 May, Richards is hosting the May Day Download. Her goal: to raise $100,000 from downloads of her single in 24 hours, with the proceeds going to Ottawa Youth Services Mental Health Aid (as the Hubley family's request). For his part, Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley, Jamie's dad, has been trying to pass anti-bullying Bills 13 and 14 into the Ontario legislature.
Though she's now a big star, acting alongside the likes of The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, Richards knows a thing or two about bullying. With acting success came negative attention throughout both elementary and high school.
"I was bullied so badly that my mom finally had enough of seeing me run home and cry all night so she took it upon herself to visit the principle at my [elementary] school. The reply from the principle was, 'maybe she brings it upon herself'," says Richards.
"In high school I was attending drama classes and my teacher thought it would be a good idea that I teach the class sometimes or give advice because I had experience in acting professionally. All my classmates hated me for that, people would turn it around and say, 'she thinks she is better than us'."
Richards claims these formative experiences have altered her and changed how she behaves, to this day.
In addition to the song and video "You Have The Power," Richards has created JasmineRichardsTheAntiBully.
Watch "You Have The Power" video. Save the date: 7 May and download the single!