Several years ago, when Jordan Tarter was coming home on a middle school bus, she witnessed a boy get bullied.
The boy wanted to sit near the back of the bus with the “cool kids” but the older students were yelling at him and pushed him to the front of the bus. And he sat with Jordan.
She came home, nearly in tears, and told her mother of the episode and promised to do something. Now, Tarter, a 16-year-old sophomore at Pittston Area, is on a crusade against school bullying.
She is organizing and hosting an anti-bullying event set from 7 to 9 p.m. April 18 at KISS Theater at the Wyoming Valley Mall. She promises singing and dancing performers plus speakers. And all money raised will go to KISS theater, a bully free theater.
“They have always stood up for ‘being yourself”,” she said.
Tarter said she’ll even sing a few songs.
“She will have some kids tell their stories and how they overcame bullying,” said Tarter’s mother, Tiffany. A featured speaker will be John Dawe of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance.
Individuals who have been victims of bullying will also take the stage to tell stories of how they have been bullied and how they struggled to overcome it.
Her mom said Jordan was hit hard when two Pittston Area students committed suicide in the fall of 2012. She said Jordan is going to dedicate the program to the families of the two suicide victims.
Tarter is in the Zero Conflict group at the high school and last year the group went to the middle school where she sang her original song “Recognize” that speaks about bullying.
This is Tarter’s third anti-bullying awareness event. Last year she held a similar program at the KISS Theater and she previously held a program at the Osterhout Library in Wilkes-Barre.
Tarter has been involved with KISS (Kid Innovations Stage and Sound), a community theater for kids, for about four years and calls it her second home. She won the lead role in the KISS production of “Footloose.”
Tarter, who works after school at the Avenue Diner in Wyoming, has performed at the Pittston Tomato Festival, Saints and Sinners in Pittston and the Naked Grape in Plains, among other venues.
There is no charge for admission, but there will be a donation bucket.
“We want to let kids know it is alright to stand up for others or if you see bullying happening or to tell someone,” she said.
She gets frustrated when she witnesses bullying, when the most she can do about it is maybe offer to sit next to a victim on the bus.
“I want to open everyone’s eyes,” she said.