Source: Chicago Tribune
Date: February 9th 2016
Author: Charla Brautigam

Hadley Middle School students were encouraged to speak up and take a stand against bullying at an assembly sponsored by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

BMX champion Matt Wilhelm, who was bullied as a child, visited the school on Tuesday (Feb. 9) to talk about bullying, perseverance and character.

He blended personal stories with bike stunts, engaging students in conversation.

“I was picked on and teased when I was in middle school,” he told students. “I was an easy target.”

Not only was he skinny, but perceived as having large ears. He was often called “Ears” by the bullies.

“I needed one person to stand up and be my hero,” Wilhelm told students. “I needed someone with courage to stand up and say, `Leave him alone.’

“You see, when you don’t do anything, you’re making it worse,” he continued. “You’re giving them an audience; you’re making them more powerful…. Be someone’s hero. Your words are powerful.”

A link the the full article can be found here: Chicago Tribune