PHOENIX - Cardinals defensive back, Greg Toler, spoke in back-to-back assemblies to prevent bullying at Horizon High School Thursday.
Toler told his story of being bullied in seventh grade. He said, "The bullies would always pick on me, pick on me. And I'm a little guy. I'm little on the field. I play defensive back which is one of the smaller guys on the football team."
As it would turn out, Toler's bully was arrested and turned to Toller for help years later.
"My sister, she's a lawyer, and he needed my help. And that's why I'm giving you guys this story," Toler said in the assembly.
Horizon is implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program school-wide, focusing on promoting a school climate that is a safe, positive place to learn.
Students are participating in weekly class meetings to obtain information that includes the definition and effects of bullying, what any one person can do about it, the role of bystanders and how they can work in conjunction with adults at the school to put a stop to bullying behavior.
Olweus is a research-based "systems-change" program with positive results in elementary schools. The message is continued from the elementary and middle school levels to high school.
NFL Hall of Famer Nick Lowery is part of the anti-bullying campaign. He said, "You've got this great stage, you're the cool people in town and you can have a tremendous impact on the culture compassion and show that you can be a great person on the field, but understand that your leadership is even more difficult and more meaningful and more courageous by reaching out to kids that are not in the spotlight."