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John Russo sings during the Dec. 1 assembly. The group leads assemblies at several schools each week.

Rock band Reverse Order delivers anti-bullying message
By Chris Strunk
Last Updated: December 03, 2015

Valley Center Intermediate School students had a "PARTTY" with the rock band Reverse Order on Dec. 1.

With an anti-bullying message, the three-member band performed six songs and introduced six words that could help students: Passion, Attitude, Respect, Trust, Thoughtfulness and You (which intentionally misspelled party).

"Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable and remove yourself from the unacceptable," said band member John Russo.

Russo was joined by his brother Cruise Russo and guitarist Drew Katsock.

Reverse Order, a semifinalist on season seven of the television show "America's Got Talent," tours the country playing concerts at night and performing for schools during the day, sometimes as many as 10 in a week, through a partnership with "Reverse the Trend."

John Russo said the "Reverse the Trend" assembly focuses on the victims of bullying.

"Our program's not mainly about telling a bully not to bully, because you can't really do that," he said. "It's more about empowering people who are getting bullied to find something they love, that they're passionate about, to follow those goals and through those goals, they'll overcome it."

Each band member shared his experiences with bullying and how he reacted to it when he was younger. One thing their stories had in common, they emphasized, was each found something he enjoyed doing and stuck with it. For John Russo and Katsock, their passion was music. For Cruise Russo, it was swimming.

"Whatever you love to do, do it 100 percent and don't let anyone stop you from doing it," Cruise Russo told students.

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