Students at St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School in Binbrook got a special visit from Harlem Globetrotters’ Dizzy Grant. The Globetrotters’ guard gave students a special message about bullying.

Grant entered the school gymnasium spinning a basketball on his finger, as he addressed the grade six through eight students who packed the gym. Throughout his 20-minute talk, Grant shared some stories of his own childhood about how he was bullied in school.

He also played some games with students, which included a couple of trivia questions.

“Unfortunately bullying has taken over society,” said Grant. “It’s important for [The Harlem Globetrotters] to get into communities and to come talk to children and hopefully put an end to bullying.”

The visit was part of The Harlem Globetrotter’s new outreach program called “The A-B-C’s of Bullying Prevention,” which is geared towards teaching six to 12 year old kids how to identify and stand up to bullying. Grant spent most of his time telling students how to identify bullying situations and how to properly deal with it.

As for what students can take away from his talk, Grant says hopefully they will be able to do the right thing when confronted with a bullying situation.

“Hopefully they learned what to do if they see anyone being bullied or if they themselves are being bullied,” said Grant. “I always try to stress to go and tell an adult is the right thing to do, a lot of times kids are scared to be labeled as tattletales and things never get resolved.”

St. Matthew’s has also been making their own anti-bullying efforts. The school has identified “Mustangs- Makers of Peace,” which is comprised of 12 students who must run a school assembly to promote bullying awareness and who are receiving training so they can be approached by any students who are being bullied.

“I think what we are doing at St. Matthew’s is bringing awareness to our students so that they have the tools necessary to know how to stand up [to bullying] and do what’s right and promote peace,” says school principal Flora Nordoff.

As for having a Harlem Globetrotters’ player to come and talk about bullying prevention, Nordoff says it helps reinforce their message.

Shawn McGuire is a Montreal-born and now Hamilton-based journalist who enjoys covering news in the Steel City. He’s a sports fan, vegan, music enthusiast, & vinyl record lover.

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