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Multi-Talented Long Island Teen Takes Anti-Bullying Message To Kids

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Long Island teen is using his musical talents to help stop bullying in the classroom and online.

As CBS 2's Dick Brennan reported, 19-year-old Jamel Hudson, a Hofstra University student who can dance, sing and play numerous instruments, electrified fourth-graders in Brentwood on Tuesday.

But the Bay Shore resident's one-man show comes with an important message about bullying.

Hudson says he was picked on as a child, partly because some kids were jealous of his emerging talents. Hudson told his young, rapt audience that it didn't stop until he finally stood up for himself.

"If you allow it to continue, that's how self-depression and anxiety can begin," he said. "And often, some young people will turn to suicide."

Hudson said he believes music works better than lecturing to deliver a serious message to children, and school administrators say they have already seen a difference.

"The kids have been listening," said Brentwood School Board President Helen Moss. "The simple things that they didn't know were bullying. Jamel brings that out of them."

The fact that Hudson can, among other things, play a mean harmonica certainly helps get the student's attention. But school leaders point to success stories, such as 10-year-old Jaden Rodriguez breaking up a fight on his school bus.

"I told them to get away from each other, for one to go in the front and the other in the back, and if you don't, I will tell the bus driver," Jaden said.

Hudson's show is working so well, he plans to expand it to all of the district's 18,000 students.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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