SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – According to the Department of Education, more than one in five middle school and high school students say they’ve been bullied at school.
In hopes of reducing that number, a group of athletes now travel the country in order to spread a message of love.
Springfield High School students took a break from final exams to fill the bleachers and talk about ways to be better. It’s a message they’ve heard before, but not like this. This time, it came from a group of X Games athletes.
The “No Place for Hate Campaign” sets out to conquer a big issue with big air. Ant it’s effective too, because when the message is coming from some of the coolest people out there, you can’t help but listen.
“This way, it’s just like, ‘Wow, this is exciting!” said Otto Buchmann, a sophomore at Springfield. “I mean there’s guys doing 360’s on bikes in midair as they’re telling us about it. It caught and held a lot of people’s interest, and it told us how to stop bullying and the statistics about it.”
The ASA High School Tour travels the U.S. and they’ve been doing it for 20 years. The whole point of the campaign is to show students some of their idols doing something positive and encouraging others to do the same.
“We’re basically just artists, and a lot of these kids that go to school are artists in their own ways as well,” said Anthony Napolitan, one of the ASA athletes. “So it really inspires kids to kind of get out there and put bullying down and accomplish something more realistic on their own.”
More than one in five middle and high school students say they’ve been bullied, and often times that bullying isn’t ever reported.
“Most of it doesn’t even come across our desk, we don’t even know it’s happening,” said Calli Dean, the Assistant Principal at Springfield High School. “So if we’re going to eliminate it or cut down on it, it’s going to happen from peer to peer interactions.”
That’s why school officials say demonstrations like this are so important, to get the message straight to the kids in an unforgettable way.
Springfield High School is the only school in the region to get the show for ASA, and now the athletes are headed to Portland and Seattle.
For more information on the ASA High School Tour, you can visit their website at www.asahighschooltour.com.