Riding to prevent bullying

ASA High School Tour visits to speak to students about ‘No Place for Hate’ campaign

Using jaw-dropping BMX tricks, anti-bullying group ASA High School Tour set up in the parking lot during block lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Throughout the show, different X-Game competitors showed off their tricks as emcee Micah Kranz read facts about peer-to-peer bullying and the consequences of it.

“I’m very open in saying that the BMX is just for your attention,” Kranz said. “They have nothing to do with one another, but when thrown together, it’s a perfect mix of attention and facts.”

ASA tours high schools throughout the United States., setting up their half-pipes and music for kids to enjoy. Wednesday was not their first time here, so the administration was already familiar with the positive message. With a meer week notice and an empty tour date, both the school and ASA still had success with the event.

“Anytime you can provide students with an opportunity to reinforce what they already know [is beneficial],” assistant principal Monica Story said. “We all know to be kind to one another, but it just helps us as we mature into adulthood and move on into post-secondary life.”

Considering the timing, the student engagement was up to ASA’s standards. They lined the barricades, in addition to a group huddled around the Marines’ tent and pull-up bar contest. They not only gave applause for the athletes but soaked in the important message of ending bullying of all forms given to them by Kranz.

“It’s something important to learn about,” junior Michelle Zavala said. “They did it in a way that was creative and different from how anti-bullying is usually taught.”

Flips, tricks and giveaways were prominent within the event, but the true cause is embedded in the memories. Normal anti-bullying lectures can make a stadium full of high school kids tune out, but watching fast-paced stunts does the opposite. While ASA continues on to schools all over, their purpose can have a lasting impact on the students and staff, and even their own athletes.

“It is impossible to speak to teenagers about anti-bullying so you kind of have to do a bait and switch,” Kranz said. “It shocks them that they learned something and saw a cool show [at the same time], that makes a really successful assembly.”