Uniontown Area High School senior brings in Steelers QB Charlie Batch to address bullying
Bullies come in every size and every age. Realizing that most children are the victims of bullying at one time or another in their lives, Uniontown Area High School senior Alexandra Piccolomini decided to so something about it.
Piccolomini, 17, organized an assembly at the school for freshmen and sophomores that addressed the subject of bullying. She also brought in a celebrity — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch — to further her cause to help stop bullies.
“I think that we all have gotten called a name or picked on at some time in our lives,” Piccolomini said. “I want students to realize that it really shouldn't be that way. It starts at such a young age, and it is something that needs to be addressed.”
Uniontown principal Bob Manges said the school welcomed the input and interest from the senior, who was holding the event simply because she felt strongly about the plight of bullying.
“She finished her senior project at the beginning of the school year,” Manges said, “so this is really just something that she felt strongly about. She took an interest in bullying, and she wanted to do something to try to make a difference.”
Manges said that Piccolomini came to them with several suggestions on how the issue could be addressed.
“She had lots of ideas,” Manges said. “She is senior and a student leader, and we encouraged her because we felt she might be someone that her fellow students would listen to and respect.”
To add even more excitement to the assembly, Piccolomini invited Batch to speak to the students.
“He is such a nice guy and so down to earth, and he is someone that may be able to reach out to these kids,” Piccolomini said.
The assembly featured a brief presentation by Piccolomini, who showed a video about a young student who committed suicide after being bullied endlessly by her fellow students.
“Bullying goes on every day, everywhere,” Piccolomini said. “This is something that goes on in schools across America.”
Batch then took the stage and related his own story of bullying and how it affected him.
“I was a victim of bullying,” Batch told the crowd, explaining that his small stature made him the brunt of jokes and ridicule. “It wasn't cool. Now I want to see if I can make a difference.”
Batch had the students repeat in unison: “I will treat everyone with dignity and respect.”
“It's simple,” Batch said, “if you don't want to be treated a certain way, then don't treat others that way.”
Batch encouraged students to report any bullying that they may see, and for those who are the victims, don't be afraid to speak up.
“I know what it feels like to be picked on, and it doesn't feel good,” Batch said, “but it is something that does not ever have to happen. There is a right way and a wrong way to be — and bullying isn't right.”
Batch said he doesn't feel bullying has increased over the years, but the attention to its effects and awareness surrounding its dangers has increased.
“People are realizing and seeing that it's not cool,” Batch said. “It's very important that we continue to educate people, to make them aware. Assemblies like this are very important in that we can see what bullying does. We don't want it to continue to young people down the line.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Red Cross says blood supply runs short in Greater Allegheny region
- Lynn: Dawson VFC to hold Easter egg hunt
- Henry: Yough River Trail Council races set for Saturday
- Tenebrae returns for Connellsville’s St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
- New HR director in place in Fayette; commissioner remains opposed to hiring
- Zimmerlink seeking 4th term in Fayette
- Warrant issued for Hopwood man accused of burglary
- Building damaged, no injuries after Fayette recycling center fire
- Mancuso running for register of wills in Fayette
- Hempfield man accused of setting Dumpster ablaze in Fayette County