A teenager who was tormented for years by school bullies has had the last laugh – by releasing a DEBUT SINGLE using lyrics based on her abuse.
Andrea Crawford, 16, lost all her confidence by cruel classmates who made her life hell after she defended a teacher from being attacked by a gang of rowdy pupils.
Andrea, who was battling a brain infection at the time, was subjected to years of bullying at school, which included a brutal attack in the playground.
She was picked on by bullies when she was 14 but the abuse continued until she left Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Ashbourne, Derbys., last month.
As a way of coping with her daily abuse, Andrea wrote songs which she performed on YouTube.
Now she has released her debut single, called ‘Trip and Fall’, which is based on a brutal playground attack which left her too scared to leave her home.
Andrea, who lives in Lichfield, Staffs., said: “The song ‘Trip and Fall’ is about my past experiences of being bullied and what I was feeling like at the time.
“It started when I was in Year 10, the class was quite uncontrollable.
“We needed another teacher because all the other teachers left because of how bad the class was getting.
“An elderly man came back from retirement but as he was leading a lesson one of the pupils threw a book and a plastic bottle at his face and called him horrible names.
“I turned round and said to them ‘that’s not right’ and they haven’t liked the fact I was trying to be nice about the situation.
“Ever since then the group tried to make my life hell.
“Later that day I was attacked in the playground in front of the entire school, including the deputy headteacher.
“There was about ten girls and all the rest of the school were looking and laughing at me being beaten up in front of absolutely everybody.
“Being bullied was difficult because I had exams and things to concentrate on.
“I had it constantly on arrival at school and then on social media afterwards – I couldn’t escape it.
“Teachers did everything they could but it still kept happening.”
While she became more withdrawn, Andrea spent longer periods on her own but used her experiences to write songs about her ordeals.
After posting her songs on YouTube she was contacted by London-based record company Regent Street Artists who have produced ‘Trip and Fall’ which was released last month.
Andrea said: “I want it (the song) to inspire others and raise awareness that there’s always help available to them no matter how bad things maybe.
“I hope everyone can relate to it.
“It’s wonderful to be releasing a record for the first time.
“I feel like I could sing before I could talk and singing is something I’ve grown up loving doing.
“The school didn’t really believe it was happening at the time until it got released.
“They even played it in one of the assemblies before I left school.”
The song, which is being sold on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify, has the lyrics: “I am beautiful, I am strong.
“I don’t care no no no, if we don’t get along.
“I will make it to the stars and prove them wrong.”
Shockingly, Andrea has also been targeted by online bullies just days after the single – which has been bought and downloaded thousands of times – was released last month.
Trolls peppered her YouTube account, calling her an “ugly c*nt” while another said she should “die”.
But despite the abuse, Andrea is determined to pursue her dream of having a music career.
Proud mum Kirsty Cassidy, 42, said: “It was a peer pressure thing, there was a main four or five bullies but a good ten around them that were, if beside them, would join in, but otherwise they would act all nice.
“The mental side is probably worse because there’s no escapism.
“She got home and went upstairs and shut the door and then ping, ping it all comes through on her phone.
“It’s some really horrible, nasty things.
“She really does struggle in everyday life.
“There has still been bad contact over social media unfortunately.
“On one of the videos on YouTube somebody bad mouthed her on there.
“It was quite nasty, someone said ‘die’ to her and some other horrible words – it’s still not been removed.
“She still has some things going on but on the social media side.
“Since she has thrown herself into her music she feels a sense of belonging for the first time in a long time.
“If people don’t want to believe in you, you just have to stick above them.
“Should we make some pennies from the single, we do want to give some money to an anti-bullying organisation – Andrea wants to become an ambassador.
“I’m so proud of Andrea and she’s worked so hard to get to this stage.
“She always wanted to sing but more importantly she’s wanted to spread the message about the difficulties she’s had and wants people to realise that bullying can have a big impact on you but there is a way out if you get help and you can succeed.”