WASHINGTON (December 14, 2011) – Howard University Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Nickelberry shared his personal account of the impact of bullying to a gymnasium full of elementary school students at Cleveland Elementary School’s “Bullying Awareness Week” last month.
“Dream big and don’t let bullying stop you from achieving your dreams,” said Nickelberry.
Pamela Parker, the physical education director at Cleveland Elementary, invited Nickelberry to share his experiences with bullying and to provide an interactive dialogue with the students. The goal was to teach ways to prevent bullying. His approach went beyond a spirited lecture.
Coach Nickelberry shared his own story of being bullied throughout his adolescent years in school. He explained how he was teased because he had dreams of playing on a basketball team, but was shorter than average basketball players. He said his peers teased him so badly that he would sometimes avoid attending school.
“Some days, I would fake being sick so I could stay home and not face being bullied,” said Nickelberry. “It was a horrible way to spend my years in school. And that’s why I’m here sharing my story with you all today—hoping to inspire you all not to be a bully; and if you are one, to stop being one.”