Hamilton Middle School students experienced a Bikers Against Bullies and Jared Blake assembly Thursday.
Stevensville High School senior Shae Griffin arranged the assembly for her senior project.
“As seniors we have to benefit our community in some big way that affects everyone,” she said. “A lot of people do bake sales and I wanted to do something different, something big, affecting as many people as I can.”
Her original plan was to have a Bikers Against Bullies assembly at Stevensville Schools but that didn’t work out so she took the show on the road to Victor Schools, kindergarten through grade 12, Darby Middle School, Darby High School and Hamilton Middle School.
Trapper Creek Job Corps is next on the list.
Griffin chose Bikers Against Bullies because her dad rides motorcycles.
“He does a lot of benefit and charity rides and he told me about Bikers Against Bullies,” she said. “All my life I’ve been a little overweight and when I was little it was something I was picked on for. I wanted to do something I felt personal towards and something my dad’s involved in because he has always been there for me.”
Griffin said working with Bikers Against Bullies has been a fun experience and she is way over the 15-hours required for her senior project.
The loud and exciting assembly in the gym had custom motorcycles, rubber bracelets tossed to the students, cheering, dancing, music, role-acting and a solid message.
Bikers Against Bullies USA (BAB USA) is a national nonprofit organization created by bikers to raise awareness and fight the effects of bullying on young people through education, community outreach and fundraising.
“Bullying affects kids everywhere and there are things you can do to stop bullying,” Griffin told the HMS students grades 5-8 as she introduced Bikers Against Bullies USA founder “Flash” who rode his custom motorcycle into the gym.
Flash fired up the students and spoke with them about respect, freedom and diversity, defining respect as “a deep admiration for someone regarding their abilities, qualities, achievements or decision making.”
“To get respect you have to give respect,” he said.
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Flash introduced country singer Jared Blake from the first season of The Voice. Blake performed a moving song on his guitar, talked with the students about the importance of making good decisions and had a couple of them role-play ways to avoid being bullied and help others walk away from bullying situations.
Blake talked about his life and choices he has made to give his daughter a better life.
“Your goals and dreams change as you change,” he said.
He recommend not responding to negative social media.
“Don’t acknowledge disparaging remarks,” he said. “That takes away their power over you.”
HMS students shared who they respect and admire. Most listed parents and friends because they are “encouraging” and “have your back.”
Flash summed it up.
“We want to be loved, respected and taken care of,” he said.
He encouraged the older students to be good role models for the younger students, giving complements, making good choices in life and paying it forward with random acts of kindness.
Griffin said she agrees with the Bikers Against Bullies message about freedom, diversity and respect.
“You should respect everyone no matter what they look like,” she said. “When you have respect for people you have respect for yourself and people will respect you. Just be kind. Diversity because it would be a boring world if everybody was the same. Freedom because people go and fight for our freedom so we should use it to help people learn about respect and diversity.”
The last song Jared Blake performed for the assembly was "Respect" and students, stood, stomped, clapped were invited down to the floor to show their great dance moves.