LES students inspired by bullying prevention performance

On Friday, April 17, students at LES learned about bullying prevention through song and dance thanks to Breach the Barrier.

Breach The Barrier is a rock band comprised of four students from Sullivan West dedicated to spreading a message of acceptance, anti-bullying and originality.

Breach the Barrier is made up of lead singer McKinley Bernitt, guitarist Bryce Maopolski, drummer John Muzuruk and bass player Reece Maopolski – they are students from the Sullivan West Central School District. The band was founded in November 2014 after a happenstance meeting at a Halloween concert.

Since then, they’ve played in local music competitions, several restaurants and races.

Most notably, Breach the Barrier hosted JAMuary at the Delaware Valley Youth Center in Callicoon, New York. There, they recruited 5 local teenage bands and raised over $500 for the Sullivan West Elementary School’s band program.

“In March, we played at a water stop during the Celebrate Life Half Marathon in Rock Hill,” John said. “It felt great to motivate the runners passing by with our music.”

According to McKinley, the future is bright for Breach the Barrier.

“We’ll be rooting for the runners on June 7 at the Orange Classic 10K in Middletown,” Reece said.

During the concert, the band told students that their goal was to help them gain confidence in themselves and be proud of who they are and know that it’s ok to be different and unique and when we accept and support one another we can begin to stop bullying and lift each other up.

Following the performance, Liberty Elementary School students and staff took a pledge to stop bullying. Several classes visited the band to ask questions about bullying and friendship.

“We want to be positive role models and show kids – and adults — that with hard work and confidence we can change the world and make a difference,” Bryce said.

The band said they are extremely grateful to all of the students at Liberty Elementary School for their enthusiastic participation and for being so welcoming and kind. They said that all of the staff and student made them feel right at home and has motivated them to continue spreading their message.

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