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Ragin' full on

September 29, 2001

Gary Moskowitz

MEDIA DISTRICT NORTH -- Rage Against Destruction, a 30-member touring

group on a mission to terminate youth violence across the country,

bombarded Burbank High School Thursday with live music, three huge video

screens, concert-style lighting, about $3,000 in giveaways and one clear

message -- violence is not the answer.

John Dunkin, also known as "Pigeon John," is the rapper in the group's


live band, which is made up of drums, guitar, bass, backup vocals and a


Dunkin's group performed high-energy hip hop songs for three

assemblies of cheering teens in Burbank High's gymnasium Thursday, while

statistics on violence in America were flashed on the three screens

behind them.

"My songs are about everyday life, things like rent, laundry, parents,

jobs and people," said Duncan, 28, who also performs with LA Symphony, a

collective group of artists based in Los Angeles. "I think we really

connect with kids, face to face, and maybe after seeing this they will go

about things in a different way."

The group will play 10 high schools in the Los Angeles area, then

continue across the country, hitting middle and high schools in eight

cities on an antiviolence tour that will culminate in June in Boston.

Rage encourages students to speak in front of their peers about issues

that affect them directly or indirectly, said Annie Dollarhide, public

relations director for Rage.

"We don't use scare tactics or try to frighten them, but instead try

to unite the school's student body," said Dollarhide, 23. "We want to

help direct students toward setting and achieving their goals."

The group actually began as an anti-drug and alcohol campaign, but

school principals began asking the group if it could include segments on

nonviolence in their performance, said Rage director Tom Woodcock.

"I have kids at home too, so this is important to me," said Woodcock,

42. "I initially wanted to help with the drug problem, but we started to

realize that violence was becoming a bigger issue."

For more information on Rage Against Destruction, call 1-877-572-4323

or visit


Here's a sampling of the more notorious crimes in Burbank that have

been committed by children.

* 1999: Eric Favela, 18, was sentenced to 26 years to life for

stabbing fellow student Adam Smith in a faculty parking lot at Burbank

High School.

* 1998: Amber Merrie Bray, 18, a former high school honors student and

cheerleader, was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy for

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