Friday, October 24, 2014

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Rochester

Knighthawks Player Asking Students to Take a Stand Against Bullying

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Rochester: Knighthawks Player Asking Students to Take a Stand Against Bullying
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Bullying is something that can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

"Bullying goes on at work, it goes on at school, it goes on at sports teams, and we need to get it to stop," said Joe Walters.

That's the reason Walters is at Aquinas. The Rochester Knighthawks Lacrosse player has his own story to share.

"For me it was race-related. A kid in school, in the eighth grade was calling me names and calling me racial slurs. The best thing I did was tell a teacher and it stopped," he said.

Walters spoke to stands full of Aquinas middle schoolers. It's part of the team's "We Got Your Back" program.

"It's cool someone so popular has time to come and tell us his story, and it shows that no matter where you're from or where you go too, you're always going to have problems, you're always going to have to deal with some things," said Maggie Seidenberg, eighth grader.

The school already has its own bullying prevention program. Junior high principal Bryan Mooney says its purpose is to get students to speak up.

"To me, bullying is all around them, whether they are on the bus it, whether they are in the mall, whether it's a a sporting event. So the idea of them to know what to do when it happens I think is extremely important," said Mooney.

On this day, Walters and these students made a pledge: no matter what, if you see something, say something.

"It's our goal to try to get everyone to sign our pledge to have someone's back," said Walters.

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