Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
WALTERS AND BURTON STAND UP TO BULLYING
01/18/2013 - 8:00am

One by one hands went into the air as sixth and seventh graders opened up about their experiences with bullying. Stories ranging in seriousness from racial insults to a broken arm were shared in the auditorium filled with 300 students, teachers and two very empathetic professional athletes.

Rochester Knighthawks Joe Walters and Tyler Burton facilitated the question and answer session at Burger Middle School as part of their “We Got Your Back” program. The visit to the Henrietta school on January 14th was the second anti-bullying appearance of the season. During the 45-minute presentation, both Walters and Burton provided students with information about the signs of bullying and how to handle bullying situations.

Watch the coverage on WROC-TV

"The main thing I want to get across is to be vocal if you are being bullied. If you see someone being bullied, speak up. I think that's the one main thing kids need to realize. If you maintain being quiet, if you see it and you don't tell someone, that's when it can progress and become awful," Walters said.

Both players believe it is their responsibility not only as professional athletes, but also as role models in the Rochester community, to step up and take a stance against the growing problem of bullying in the community.

“It was a good first time getting out there and I believe we conveyed the anti-bullying message and pledge,” said Burton. “The main message we wanted to get to the students was to be vocal and not let your voice go unheard.  When encountering bullying, you have to talk to your friends, parents and teachers.”

As part of the anti-bullying presentation, the sixth and seventh grade Burger Middle School students signed an anti-bullying banner, which will hang in their school. It is estimated that about 30 percent of students in sixth through tenth grade in the United States are bullied on a regular basis. By signing the banner, the students were pledging to help decrease this percentage and stand up to bullying.

The Burger Middle School students learned about the “We Got Your Back” pledge, which was created by Ann Marie Leonardi of Hurricanes Lacrosse. Because of Leonardi and Cosgrove Middle School in Spencerport, the Rochester Knighthawks were able to launch the campaign. 

Principal Greg Lane of Burger Middle School commented on what an impact the Knighthawks are making on kids in the Rochester community with their anti-bullying program.

“Our kids want to hear that message. Sometimes hearing it from a different person, especially professional athletes, it seems to stick really well with those kids and they're bringing a really positive message about bullying and giving them some strategies about what to do when life throws a curve at you.”

The Knighthawks’ next anti-bullying event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5th at Oliver Middle School in Brockport.

For more information about the Knighthawks’ anti-bullying program, go to www.knighthawks.net/antibullying.


5/25/2013
Syracuse men's lacrosse pulls off another one-goal victory, advances to national title game with 9-8 win over Denver

1/30/2015
Ex-Syracuse lacrosse player Tim Raschdorf training for ironman competition to benefit military vets

1/24/2015
Syracuse lacrosse notes: Transfer Ben Williams looks like an answer for faceoff struggles

1/24/2015
Syracuse Lacrosse 2015: Jon Desko's practice press conference, Jan. 24

1/23/2015
5 Syracuse players taken in Major League Lacrosse draft; LaFayette's Lyle Thompson goes No. 1

1/23/2015
Which former Syracuse athletes deserve retired jerseys next?

1/21/2015
Syracuse lacrosse players Kevin Rice, Randy Staats projected to be picked in MLL Draft

1/8/2015
Tickets on sale for the 2015 Syracuse men's lacrosse season

1/5/2015
Syracuse men's lacrosse goalies Bobby Wardwell, Warren Hill prepared for competition

1/5/2015
Syracuse men's lacrosse attack Randy Staats academically eligible after missing fall

1/5/2015
Syracuse men's lacrosse head coach John Desko 2015 Media Day press conference

1/5/2015
Syracuse men's lacrosse to begin using indoor practice facility on Tuesday

12/26/2014
Top 10 Syracuse sports stories of 2014

12/22/2014
Actor John C. McGinley, a former Syracuse University student, still bleeds Orange

12/19/2014
Syracuse lacrosse schedule: Orange will face six teams in preseason top 10

12/18/2014
Transcript of Q&A with Syracuse University athletic director Daryl Gross

12/17/2014
Syracuse lacrosse: Comparing the Orange to its peers over the last 10 years

12/14/2014
An analysis of athletic director Daryl Gross' 10 years running Syracuse University sports

12/14/2014
Syracuse athletics: The Orange before and during AD Daryl Gross' first decade

12/12/2014
Syracuse great Jim Brown praises LeBron James, other athletes for speaking out against injustice

12/9/2014
Syracuse lacrosse has four players named to Inside Lacrosse's Preseason All-American teams