“Sometimes you just have to be in the right place, at the right time, to come across something wonderful… like we have here today.”
That is how Margery Bohan, Dedham Public Schools Director of Health and Physical Education, addressed the crowd in front of her at the Dedham High School recently. One morning, Bohan fielded a phone call from Courtney Littlejohn, tour coordinator from the ASA (Action Sports Association) High School Tour. ASA is based in Florida, and provides a traveling, anti-bullying show – featuring professional BMX bikers – that tours High Schools across the country. The ASA Tour has visited more than 1,000 schools since it began in 2000.
The United States Marine Corps. is the associate partner of the ASA High School Tour, and it is through their generosity that the show comes to us free of charge! The 400 students in grades 9 and 10 were the audience this day, and they filed in to their gym to see a massive BMX bicycle ramp set up inside.
Before the show, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with 26 yr. old, professional X games rider, Mykel Larrin. Larrin has been labeled “one of the best in the world, competing in the X games and traveling all over the world.” He is about to embark on a tour of China and told us just how important a show like this is for our students. “We are the eye-catch for these kids, to keep their attention, but the message here is pretty clear.” “We want to raise the awareness of and help put an end to bullying.”
With him this day to perform, was 17 yr. old Ian Bradley and his 19 yr. old brother Zane, from Troy, NH. The high-flying team also had a “flatlander” named Trevor Meyer – a 3-time Gold Medalist – to perform bike tricks in the gym. Jeoff Carlton was the ASA “MC/Host” and throughout the show kept the students on target, citing numerous bullying statistics and offering them ways to help. ASA`s Director of Events, Brad Esser, worked the floor all morning to make sure that the show went off without a hitch.
After the hour-long performance, the students were invited on to the gym floor to meet and greet the X games athletes and some of the US Marines that were on hand.
Margery Bohan was all smiles, standing in the thick of it, with students and faculty alike congratulating her on a job well done. Not taking all the credit, Bohan asked them to thank Principal Ron McCarthy and Superintendent June Doe for allowing this unique approach to a very important topic in to their school!
Jeoff Carlton ended the morning, telling the students to “stick up for others and make yourself a better person…”
The Town of Dedham provides training for teachers, faculty and administration and takes a very proactive stance on the subject of bullying. Policies and procedures have been updated to ensure the safety of all of our students.
Story and Photos by: Joe Kilroy
Link to article here