Globetrotter gives anti-bully message to local students

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., Nov. 15, 2012
'Cheese' Chisholm talks to Center Road School students about the ABCs of bullying on Nov. 13. Photos by Steve Smith.
'Cheese' Chisholm talks to Center Road School students about the ABCs of bullying on Nov. 13. Photos by Steve Smith.

Students at Center Road School recently learned some lessons about bullying prevention in a rather fun and entertaining way. Brawley “Cheese” Chisholm, a member of the famed Harlem Globetrotters, performed tricks and played interactive games with the students and staff, while teaching the “ABCs” of bullying. A stands for action, B stands for bravery, and C stands for compassion, Chisholm said, as he asked the children for examples of each from their own lives.

“Bullying is not cool at all,” Chisholm said. “When it comes to action – when you see someone being bullied, take it to a higher authority. Tell a parent, tell a teacher, tell a principal - anybody older than you. You want to make sure someone knows that someone's being bullied.”

Bravery, he said, comes into play by kids being unafraid to be themselves, treating others with respect, and having a positive mindset when it comes to other people.

Chisholm said compassion is caring for others in the community. “You want to care about the person being bullied,” he said. “People who are being bullied are sometimes very lonely. You want to be a friend. Be a friend to someone being bullied. If you can help somebody out, help them out.”

He also asked several children what their dreams for their lives are, and encouraged the crowd to applaud them. “Whatever it is,” he said, “make sure you dedicate yourself. If you don't put the time into what you want to do, it will never be accomplished. Make sure you're determined. That means that what you want - your ultimate dream, your ultimate goal – is what you shoot for. No matter what anyone else tells you, you can achieve your goals and your dreams.”

Chisholm also told the children to be responsible for their own actions. “Don't blame anyone. Don't use scapegoats,” he said, adding that education is also important. “Education is key to all of your goals. Education is one thing that no one can take from you.”

“We play to more than 136 million fans across the world,” Chisholm told the students. “It's our job to spread good will around the world.”

Chisholm said the Globetrotters' community relations efforts change focus each year, with this year's target centered on bullying. He said the players are briefed by Globetrotters' staff on the key elements, but then are free to tailor the message as they see fit.

“We have the basic concepts of what we're supposed to talk about,” he said, adding that the Globetrotters also partner with an anti-violence organization based in Washington, D.C., that collects stories written by young people who've experienced bullying situations. “We get the real data, and then they've come up with this beautiful script,” Chisholm said. “The three letters [ABC] enable us to come out here and present it to the kids.”

Chisholm said he sees the reaction from the children and that makes him feels like he's having an impact. “We get a good feel,” he said. “The reaction I get is that they listen to me, and they listen to the points I have to say. If I talk to 500 kids, and all 500 don't take it home, but at least one does, then I'm doing my job.”


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