Harlem Globetrotter Works to End Bullying
It is a problem on the rise that can put a child's self-being at risk: school bullying. However, the iconic Harlem Globetrotters are working to help put an end to the intimidation.
ABC (Action, Bravery, and Compassion) is the acronym designed to help decrease bullying, and increase violence prevention.
"I want them to know that bullying is a problem in America. It's not acceptable. Some kids don't even know they are getting bullied. I want to make sure kids know that spreading rumors and gossiping is not acceptable," said Harlem Globetrotter Hammer Harrison.
Standing up for others is what Harrison wants students to do. It was the message he gave to over 60 students at Windy Hills Elementary, and those students are sure they will put that message into action.
"If you're a bully, you need to stop. If someone is getting bullied, you should stand up for them," said Nicholas C., Windy Hills student.
"If someone is a bully, and you know them, or even if it's someone you don't know, you should tell someone," shared Isabella E., Windy Hills student.
Teachers, counselors, and parents were the three individuals Harrison pointed too when telling students who to inform about bullying in-and-outside the classrooms; but counselors are also saying bystanders need to be the first to speak out.
"We need to stick up for each other. It's the bystander, the one that watches, that usually has the most power. They are the ones that can tell the bully ‘no,'" said Mary Fhurling, school counselor.
According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, over 150,000 kids stay at home from school each day in order to avoid being bullied. Harrison says whether the child is the bully, or the bullied, nothing goes unnoticed.
"If they are either the aggressor, or the person being bullied, I want them to know it's being seen. I want to bring awareness. If the bully was here today, (s)he wouldn't be doing it as much, or would stop completely, because they know it's a problem now," said Harrison.
Having Harrison bring those problems to light is where the change at Windy Hills begin.
"The message we give kids is to treat each other well. When you have someone with such charisma, such as Hammer, the kids will understand the message and they will remember it forever," said Fhurling.