Firefly Fisher is spreading an anti-bullying message by teaching kids about prevention in three words: action, bravery and compassion.
Do something, say something and be good to others, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball showman told 400-plus students at Browne Elementary School.
The advice is important, said Devin Dial, 11. “Bullying is the biggest problem in all the schools.”
Bullying problems have recently been brought close to home in a couple local cases.
A 16-year-old Spokane girl arrested over the weekend allegedly used Facebook to bully and threaten two other teenage girls, a growing use of social media that concerns authorities because victims can’t escape their bullies by going home. In a recent 14-page report detailing bullying in the Coeur d’Alene School District, interviews with 300 students revealed numerous incidents from name-calling to physical attacks to sexual assaults.
Browne Elementary Principal Julia Lockwood has been taking time each month to talk to students about bullying. So when she received the call that Fisher wanted to come and speak to students for free, she jumped on the chance. Just to hear someone else spreading the message is important, Lockwood said.
“Have you heard of the word bullying?” Fisher asked the students. “Yes!” they yelled. “Is it a good word or a bad word?” he asked. “Bad!”
Fisher is passionate about the message. He emphasizes befriending victims of bullying since that’s the opposite of what most people would do.
“It’s important for kids to know how to deal with bullying,” Fisher said. “If they don’t know how to deal with it, bad things can happen.”
Students were invited to the front to form an A, B and C with their bodies as the 27-year-old basketball guard talked about the three points of prevention.
As a reward, he taught them each a basketball trick.
“If you see bullying, it’s important to tell an adult,” he said.
“Bravery is important because it means standing up to bullying and not letting it happen.”