By Maria Medina

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — An Oakland elementary school teacher turned his students into song makers when he asked them to help write an anti-bullying song.

“We noticed that bullying was going on, on the campus,” said Del Shawn Armstrong of Manzanita SEED Elementary.

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The lesson in the song, called “Bully Free Zone,” is in the lyrics: “If you’re getting bullied on, you ain’t by yourself … that ain’t cool, that ain’t fair, do you think it’s right, get it out of here … I don’t like the bully, bullying ain’t cool, you could be a scholar if you did your work at school.”

The children, third to fifth graders of Manzanita, had some in hand in writing the words because some of them have experienced bullying.

“I used to get made fun of and ditched by my friends,” said 10-year-old Damian.

His teacher said the songwriting project began over a tragedy.

“We were inspired to write the song when we heard that a 16-year-old killed himself because he was being bullied at school,” Armstrong said.

Now the song is not just motivating kids to stop bullying their peers. Armstrong said it’s also doing much more.

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“We’re trying to change the narrative of the black boys in Oakland, California,” he said. “Usually when you hear Oakland, you hear, ‘Oh, don’t go there, it’s a dangerous place,’ it’s not really, it’s love in the hoods.”

The organization, Kingmakers of Oakland, which helps break down barriers that get in the way of success for African American students in schools has been working with Manzanita students and applauds Armstrong.

“We ensure that they are exposed to other images and other ideas about what it means to be a black male,” said Baayan Bakari of Kingmakers of Oakland.

“Bully Free Zone” is teaching not only a lesson in the classroom, but also in life.

Armstrong and his students plan to create a music video for the song.

In the meantime, they’re also asking for healthy snacks for the school, because Armstrong said many of his students come to class hungry.

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