HARTFORD, Conn. — WWE Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon and WWE Superstars spread the Be a STAR Alliance’s anti-bullying message to the WWE Universe Friday. (PHOTOS)
More than 100 students at Hartford, Conn.’s Jumoke Academy at Milner listened to McMahon, Santino Marella, David Otunga and Layla, as they encouraged the children to stand up to bullies by telling a trusted adult when they need help. The visit is part of a month-long celebration of Anti-Bullying Month, which runs through October.
"It's something we need to put an end to," McMahon told the children. "We're here to give you the tools you need to stand up against bullying."
The Superstars shared their personal stories about bullying and encouraged everyone to Be a STAR by taking the Be a STAR pledge, like the more than 20,000 members of the WWE Universe who have done so online at beastaralliance.org.
"If you see someone being bullied, speak up for them," Otunga said. "Stand up for them."
One out of every four children is bullied, and a child is bullied every seven minutes, whether it’s cyber, physical or verbal.
"The bullying we face a lot today that we don't talk about enough is cyberbullying," said Layla, who also encouraged the students to consider the impact words can have.
"If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all," she told the children.
Through WWE and The Creative Coalition’s campaign, children around the globe are encouraged to “Be a STAR: Show Tolerance And Respect.” After telling the students his personal story about being bullied, Marella shared advice on combating bullying and led the children in the Be a STAR chant.
"You guys actually have a responsibility to look out for your friends and observe your own behavior," he said. "Look at your self. Look at your actions. Look at your behavior and question yourself. Ask, 'Am I being a bully?' "
For a year and a half, WWE Superstars and Divas have visited more than 40 schools to spread the Be a STAR message, affecting 20,000-plus children. They’ll visit two more Hartford locations this week as part of Anti-Bullying Month.
Be a STAR is made up of more than 50 alliance partners including Scholastic Inc., YMCA of America, Girl Scouts of America, GLAAD, RAINN and STOMP Out Bullying. For more information, visit beastaralliance.org, the Be a STAR Facebook page and on Twitter @beastaralliance. Also, log on to beastaralliance.org to take the official Be a STAR pledge and to download a free Be a STAR teacher’s aide and Be a STAR toolkit to start your own local chapter.