A Harlem Globetrotter visited Riverside Elementary School Friday with a special message.
Herb “Flight Time” Lang’s visit was a surprise to the entire student body and was part of the Globetrotter’s ABC’s of Bullying Prevention campaign.
“Lucky for us, we can do a lot of things with the basketball,” Lang said. “We can have fun with (the pupils) and deliver the message and have fun with them at the same time.”
Lang showed off some basketball tricks and even taught a few to some students who answered questions about bullying prevention.
As part of the ABCs program, Lang encouraged the pupils to take action to prevent bullying. ABC stands for Action, Bravery and Compassion, traits pupils should act on to help prevent and stop bullying by standing up to bullies and for others being bullied, he said.
“Everybody in some form or fashion experiences some type of bullying whether it be in school as a kid or on the playground, or at home or even on the job,” Lang said. “It comes in all forms and fashions.
“It’s definitely nice to be able to use my celebrity,” he said. “I think a lot of celebrities these days are actually using it to get the point to kids that bullying is not cool.”
Riverside Elementary Principal Judy Bonadio said bullying awareness, including respect and responsibility, is a focus of school officials throughout Columbia County. Her pupils enjoyed Lang’s visit, but she hopes his message will stick with them.
“We all know that saying and doing unpleasant things to each other is just not right,” Bonadio said. “Whenever we can get somebody in here with some notoriety to reinforce that, oh yeah, they love that.”