Hitchcock/Tulare school hosts anti-bullying assembly
By: Kayla Understock
School Assembly speaker and author, Bob Lenz, came to Hitchcock to speak with students on October 3, 2018. There were three sessions set up. An Elementary assembly was held at 10:30 followed by a High School assembly at 1:00. In addition, he spoke at 7:00 p.m. so parents and other local people had a chance to attend. Also present was a short performance by an illusionist.
He spoke about true stories and gave examples of how it affected people. The difference between a moment of embarrassment and being embarrassed as a person was something Bob explained to the students using one specific example but in various other messages as well. Some people have the philosophy that by putting other people down, it makes you feel better about yourself but he went on to explain that while this does work in the moment, it doesn’t in the long run. Situations of bullying were brought up in his speech and there were heartfelt. He even spoke of a time when he had witnessed another person being bullied on his football team. Bob told the students that by doing nothing he was still being a bully in his eyes, he should have done something, told someone.
“Do what you believe is right,” he told students. “If you wait until society says everything is right, we’ll never have a revolution. Even if you do have all of the things society says you need, it wont be right if you don’t make good choices.”
He went on to say that regardless of the problems, pain, and past we all have choices. During hard times, he encouraged students not to go through it alone and to find a friend to talk to about it. Also, he said that if the students knew anyone whom had been abused or bullied they should give them permission to talk to someone, to break the silence. This message was given to students after he told them of a friend whom had taken his own life due to “being treated like garbage by his mother so he felt like garbage.”
The message that followed was that even if someone had been abandoned or neglected, they haven’t lost their value. Whether they’re bullied, abused, abandoned, had things written on the Internet about them, or the mistakes they think are wrong with them, people throw their lives away to drugs and alcohol. It only lands them in a land full of regret, or worse, they throw their life away just as his friend did, he told students. No matter what someone has done to you, no matter how someone has hurt you, no matter what someone has said, no matter how you’ve been treated, no matter what mistakes you’ve made; your life has value, was one of the last powerful messages he sent to students. He closed with three ideals he wanted students to take with them, “1. Value: No matter what happened to you, you haven’t lost value. 2. Courage: Having courage doesn’t mean you have no fear, it means you face it. 3. Respect: Have respect for other people’s property, people, and for yourself.”
Bob is the Author of the anti-bullying book, Dignity Revolution, and initiator of a national pledge to stand up for the worth, value and dignity of every person. Founder and President of Life Promotions, a non-profit youth organization with a mission to instill hope in youth is another accomplishment that Bob holds. In 1982, he began speaking in schools and has spoken to more than five million people in all 50 states. Bob’s speech was engaging, informative, and funny. He held the attention of the students very well and seemed to get his message across effectively. Thanks to the School, the Hitchcock/Tulare community was very lucky to have had such a great person and speaker in our presence with a powerful message about a very important topic.