Edit: Check out our official school assembly program page!
There’s been a lot of media coverage about bullying recently due to several teen suicides.
I’m glad to see this problem finally starting to get the attention it deserves. These deaths are a tragedy. They could have been prevented.
It’s time we admit the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is total bunk. Words do hurt. Words can kill.
I’m going to speak candidly about my personal life. It’s an odd thing to do on a business blog. I need you to understand how passionate I am about the subject.
We created our anti-bullying school show long before the media spotlight hit. For us it’s personal. I don’t want anyone to go through what I did. Even at 26 years old what happened to me as a kid still haunts me.
When I graduated High School in 2002, I weighed 400lbs.
I began losing the weight in 2008 through a combination of diet and exercise (no surgery).
Growing up I was always the “big kid”. Every day of my life I was bullied. In fact, I’d like to take a moment to dispel one of the most common myths about bullying.
Bullies aren’t always bigger and stronger than the people they bully. In fact, some of the worst bullies in the world are compensating for being short or little.
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Bullies are as diverse as the insecurities that make them bullies in the first place.
Even in Kindergarten I suffered from being overweight. One of the smallest kids in the class would pinch me on the playground then run away. Being big I couldn’t catch up with him. He and his friends found it entertaining to watch the fat kid run. Amazingly, no teacher ever seemed to notice this happening.
This wasn’t just a light pinch either. He left bruises all over my body. At one point my parents thought I had something medically wrong with me because of all the bruises I had.
Torment like this continued for years. It wasn’t until fourth grade that things started to get better. I was placed in an “inclusion” class as a “role model” student. Mixed in the class were other kids who suffered from learning disabilities.
Suddenly the playing field was equal. They were able to see past my size to see the real me. They were misunderstood, so they made the effort to understand me. In turn I learned that people with learning disabilities were often very intelligent. They just couldn’t learn in traditional ways.
In junior high I was placed back in “regular” classes. The bullying promptly resumed. In fact, it was WORSE than anything I experienced before. Every moment of the day was filled with physical assaults and verbal torment.
Eventually I resorted to violence. I’m not proud of that. It should never have come to that. It did, however, curtail the bullying. The rest of my school years through high school were fairly peaceful. In college I pretty much kept to myself.
Then I got a “real job” in an office. I figured everyone had grown up and that my days of being bullied were over. Boy was I wrong. Office bullying is very common.
Now bullying took on the form of constant criticism, yelling, being continually reminded of my mistakes, gossip, exclusion from activities, having my work sabotaged, and having others take credit for my accomplishments.
That’s when it hit me. Bullying wasn’t just relegated to the school yard. Bullying is a social sickness. Adults can’t and won’t change. If we’re going to fix this thing, it has to start with the kids.
That’s why we created our anti-bullying school assembly show. Bullying and violence prevention are a part of who I am. It’s in my DNA. My major life goal is to help other people who are being bullied.
Our school assembly stars Gus the Rubber Chicken. He’s a professional stunt chicken! We go out of our way to show how awesome he is. We want the kids to realize that people who are the victim of bullies don’t deserve it!
Even though Gus is a really cool guy, he’s the victim of school yard bullying. From there we talk about the positive steps he took to resolve the problem. In doing so we cover physical bullying, verbal bullying, and cyber bullying.
When I was a kid the internet was still a pretty new thing. I managed to dodge the cyber bullying bullet.
I was talking to a teacher the other day. She said: “The cyber bullying problem is new for all of us. It used to be when a kid went home they were safe. Now the bullying comes in through e-mail, Facebook, and their phone!”
No wonder the kids are suicidal.
For us anti-bullying and violence prevention is a life mission.
We’d love to take Gus’s positive anti-bullying magic show to your school. Please contact us today for more information.