WEDNESDAY, JAN. 14 — They got the basketball spinning.
Some got their booties shaking.
And they all said no to bullying.
Harlem Globetrotter Herbert “Flight Time” Lang visited Wilcox Elementary School in Holt today with a message about the “ABCs of Bullying Prevention.”
“Believe it or not I was even bullied growing up,” he told the assembly of students and teachers. “There were always a few kids who felt the need to make themselves better to pick on me. “I wasn’t always six foot three and as handsome as I am now. A lot of those kids who used to pick on me when I was younger, those same kids, now when I come to their city to play basketball, they want me to get them tickets to the show… I learned to forgive them.”
The program is in coordination with the National Campaign to Stop Violence to help reduce bullying and violence among youth.
The ABCs stand for Action, Bravery and Compassion.
The Globetrotters will perform at the Breslin Center Jan. 23.
Being an ambassador of goodwill is a part of being a Globetrotter, he told the children.
“It’s more than about playing the game of basketball,” he said.
Principal Traci Heuse said the assembly was a reward for good behavior and the children reaching their goal of 3,000 tickets in their Bucket Filler content. Children fill imaginary buckets by doing good deeds. They received tickets for their good deeds and the tickets are in a bucket in the front entrance of the school. The students collected more than 6,500.
Before Heuse (pronounced like voice) introduced Lang she told the children, “Remember respectful, responsible behaviors.”
Lang explained how the ABCs work.
“Taking action in bullying there is absolutely nothing wrong with telling a teacher,” he said. “There is nothing wrong with being a so-called tattle tale if it prevents somebody from being physically hurt or stops somebody from crying and getting their feelings hurt. So one way that you can help prevent bullying is by not standing back and watching, and by taking action and going to tell an adult.”
Being brave in a bullying situation means “standing up to the bully. It means go up and say hey, ‘if you keep picking on me or you keep picking on my friend, I’m going to take action and I’m going to tell a teacher.’”
And lastly he explained compassion.
“If you see somebody being bullied go over and tell them it’s going to be OK, give them a hug.”
Lang chose four students and a teacher to participate in an exercise to remember the principles. They got to share how they would take action, show bravery or be compassionate.
After that they all got to learn a “trick.”
Third grader Anastasia Brigman, fourth grader Cassie McCool, first graders Christopher Houser and Cordell Miller joined third grade teacher Lynne Cobb with a fancy ball passing game that ended with Cobb doing a silly dance to the joy of the crowd.
The program wouldn’t have been complete without Lang being asked to do some fancier moves.
He spun the ball on his hands and his head.
The kids appeared to take the lessons to heart immediately, especially compassion.
As Lang prepared to toss the ball into the basket from the back of his neck, he froze and reset.
“You can do it!” the children screamed.