DURHAM, NC (WNCN) — A Durham school music teacher is trying to make a difference through music.
In the aftermath of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, DeAndre Bennett got to work.
“The senseless violence must stop. This needs to stop in our communities,” he said. “I always talk about music being used as medicine to heal us in times like this.”
The music teacher from the Community School of Digital and Visual Arts in Durham has created a music video featuring 20 of his students.
The students are from third to fifth grade.
They are around the same age as the 19 children who were killed when a gunman opened fire in Texas classrooms on May 24.
“They couldn’t grasp the concept of what happened,” Bennett explained.
To help his students understand and process tragedy, Bennett channeled the power of the arts.
“It’s a mechanism to deal with that and to deal with their internal feelings,” he said. “We had a conversation about how it made them feel. We discussed ways to get involved and contribute.
Their contribution is a message of love, set to the music of Michael Jackson, to a grieving community more than 1,400 miles away.
“We want to create a sense of community and just let them know we’re here for them,” Bennett said.
He admitted that he and other educators were worried during these difficult times.
“I think we’re all a little worried; we need to make sure that we take all the precautionary measures that we can, to make sure our school is safe, to protect our students and our staff,” he added.
Bennett wants his students and other children to know that they can “cure the world.”
“We need love to heal, and we need love to bridge the gap between us,” he explained. “Even as young as they are, they make a difference. We can all make a difference.