HomeAsian AmericansLea Salonga Stands Up for Bullied Teens
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Lea Salonga Stands Up for Bullied Teens

Internationally acclaimed singer and Broadway actress Lea Salonga voiced support for victims of a bullying incident at Ateneo de Manila Junior High School in the Philippines, reports Inquirer. A video showing a student challenging his classmate to a fight in the toilet went viral, drawing international attention, according to The Philippine Star.

The Tony-award-winning singer wrote, “I think we all agree that the school needs to take much swifter action with regards to this boy’s pattern of behavior (there are allegedly more victims, and more videos), as well as with this boy’s accomplices, and that the bully’s parents need to come down hard on their kid.” She also lamented the school’s inaction due to the “supposed well-connectedness of this boy’s parents.”

Salonga has been vocal in a growing online movement against bullying. Earlier this year, she shared a blog post about body shaming revealing that she has been “called fat to my face,” according to Inquirer.

In June, she responded to a Twitter thread written by an American pastor who shared the story of a teen who had killed himself thinking “that the world hated him because he was gay.”

She urged, “Choose love. Choose empathy. Choose acceptance. Choose understanding.”

Salonga encouraged the victims of bullying in Manila not to be defenseless and suggested that parents enroll their children in martial arts classes. She was clear, however, not to place full responsibility on the victims. To Ateneo de Manila Junior High School, her message was: “We are all watching.”

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