Lady Gaga emails fan to praise anti-bullying campaign
Lady Gaga has surprised one of her Canadian fans by recording a personal video message in support of his campaign against school bullies.
The pop star emailed 17-year-old Jacques St Pierre, praising his efforts to "spread tolerance" by asking pupils to make pledges against bullying.
"It is important that we push the boundaries of love and acceptance," she said in the video.
The pop star has long been an advocate for anti-bullying laws.
She addressed President Obama on the issue earlier this year, highlighting the case of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, a US student who took his life after being taunted at school.
This month, she announced the formation of a not-for-profit organisation to tackle issues of bullying and abandonment.
In her video message to Jacques, she reiterated: "I'm going to be working as hard as I can to make bullying a hate crime".
Speaking to Toronto's CBC News, the teenager said he had not been expecting a direct email from the pop star.
"The subject line said 'To Jacques from Lady Gaga,'" he told the broadcaster.
"It said 'click on the link below to download the video for your assembly'.
"I watched it and I started crying. I'm a huge fan. It's kind of embarrassing because I love her so much. I couldn't believe it."
'Tolerance and equality'
Jacques said he had been bullied in elementary school, when fellow pupils called him gay for wanting to take part in school plays.
After moving to the Etobicoke School of the Arts in Toronto, he ran for the student council and organised a series of events to raise awareness of bullying.
As part of his campaign, he emailed several celebrities to ask for their support.
In her response, which Jacques has uploaded to his YouTube account, Gaga said: "I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you for being such a strong advocate of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community in your school.
"My father always saves all the fan letters that I receive and I read yours very recently and wanted to send this video to you.
"It is important that we spread tolerance and equality for all students."
According to CBC, pupils at Jacque's school were impressed by the video's message.
"I'm starting to actually realise how big this problem is and I just want to make a difference now," said one male student.