Denver area schools were the first stops on the ASA High School Tour
POSTED 2:51 PM, SEPTEMBER 6, 2016, BY SHANNA FORTIER
Standley Lake High School freshmen Kaitlyn McCubbins and Delaney Huetson stood among classmates Sept. 1, watching as BMX rider Coco Zurita repeatedly launched from the half-pipe set up in the school’s parking lot.
“There was a really cool guy on the bike,” McCubbins said, referring to Zurita and his many high-flying flips.
Zurrita was among five X-Games athletes that awed Denver-area students during the ASA High School Tour, part of the national No Place for Hate campaign to stop bullying in conjunction with the U.S. Marines and the Anti-Defamation League.
Other athletes on the tour were skateboarder Paul-Luc Ronchetti and BMX riders Trevor Meyer, Alex Landeros and Mykel Larrin.
“It kept me engaged,” Hueston said of the presentation. “Better than sitting in an assembly.”
Which is exactly the goal of the tour, said Taylor Dressler, content coordinator for ASA Entertainment, which provides athletes for the events.
“We feel this will have a positive impact on teens in the local community by using the cool factor of action sports to promote an important message,” Dressler said. “Our goal is to reduce the negative effects of bullying and educate students on ways to prevent bullying and get help if they have experienced or witnessed bullying.”
The Colorado stop was the first a 14-week tour. Other schools visited in the area were Aurora Central High School, Prairie View High School in Henderson, Columbine High School in south Jeffco and George Washington High School in Denver.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, 160,000 students across America miss school every day because of the fear of being bullied.
“That’s insane to think about,” said Dustin Grice, tour emcee. “Right now, there are 160,000 students who are missing school. It’s definitely a bigger deal now than it’s ever been.”
The statistics shocked McCubbins, who said she learned bullying happens a lot more than she thought.
The message about bullying is clear in schools today, Assistant Principal Trip Sargent said, and students are forthcoming about reporting bad interactions.
But the challenge, he said, is determining if a student is having a bad day and a negative interaction with another student, or if that student is a bully and is specifically targeting others.
“Any and all things that reinforce the anti-bullying message is so important,” Sargent said. “Kids in high school are still growing into their adult mindsets, and all these activities that are designed to help them do that growth in a positive manner.”
BULLYING AT A GLANCE
• One of every four students — 22 percent — report being bullied during the school year.
• 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it.
• More than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.
• School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25 percent.
• The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks (55 percent), body shape (37 percent) and race (16 percent).
• 90 percent of teens who report being cyberbullied have also been bullied offline.
• 81.9 percent of students who identify as LGBTQ were bullied in the last year based on their sexual orientation.
• One-third of girls and one-fourth of boys report weight-based teasing from peers, but prevalence rates increase to approximately 60 percent among the heaviest students.
• Students victimized by their peers were 2.4 times more likely to report suicidal ideation and 3.3 times more likely to report a suicide attempt than youth who reported not being bullied.
Source: Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center