I recently had the pleasure of meeting Rick Reilly, a columnist for ESPN, at a function I attended. Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a very big sports buff, but after we got to talking, he shared with me some of the details of a feature he recently did on an Arizona high school student who had been the victim of bullying.
I’ll start by saying that bullying absolutely breaks my heart. It can be so detrimental to the emotional and spiritual development of our children. Bullying is nothing shy of torture. But this story is so incredibly inspiring that I immediately wanted to share it with as many people as possible.
Chy Johnson is a sophomore at Queen Creek High School. She’s been afflicted with microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder that prohibits her brain from functioning at the same level as her peers. Unfortunately, because of this, she became an easy target for bullies at her school.
After another agonizing day of being mistreated, Chy reached out to an upperclassman she had met for help. Not just any upperclassmen though, but rather the starting quarterback for the school’s football team, Carson Jones. Instead of confronting the bullies and potentially making the situation worse for the victim, Carson befriended Chy, inviting her to sit with him during lunch and meet his friends.
Soon, other members of the team began doing the same, whether it was walking and socializing with her in the hallways, sitting next to her in class, inviting her to the team’s game each Friday night, etc. Chy went from being a lonely high school student that was an easy target for bullies, to one of the more popular kids on campus and it all came from the goodness of a few students who saw her for who she is, accepted her as one of their own, and have helped her find her way again.
I found this story to be so heartwarming. As a father of two, I love hearing about the compassion of young people to help a fellow classmate out in a time of need.
Unfortunately, not every child who’s bullied at school is as lucky as Chy, to have supportive friends who’ll be there for them. Bullying awareness has increased throughout America and it’s important for students to know that they have options.
Primavera Online Middle School and High School has a strict anti-bullying policy and offers a unique alternative for students to earn the quality education they desire in the type of friendly, welcoming atmosphere that they deserve. At Primavera, we take pride in making sure that we are a beacon of light to those students who have been bullied and tormented in their brick and mortar schools.
It’s time to end bullying and I encourage all of you to share the story Chy Johnson and her supportive friends.
I also wanted to share with everyone a quick, 30 second anti-bullying commercial that we made for Primavera Online Middle School, called “Parkour,” which I think is fantastic. I’m so proud and appreciative of the team at StrongMind for putting this together for us. I hope you all enjoy it.