On June 5th, 2015, a group of passionate wrestlers and behind-the-scenes personalities came together to discuss the issues of bullying with an excited group of children, parents, and community leaders. The IHWE Anti-Bullying Rally was part of the Southern Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremonies, bringing an important message to the young wrestling fans of Fort Worth and their parents.
Youth motivational speaker Jeff Bearden says, “The issue of bullying has become an epidemic in schools around the country. I am glad to be part of a group of people who are willing to band together to expose this problem and, hopefully, show these kids what they can do to help to put an end to this issue.” He adds, “David Fuller and IHWE are doing so much to help the youth of the Fort Worth community by creating an event like this. By bringing together a group of wrestlers, who children tend to relate to, we are able to reach out and show them a different side of ourselves than what they have seen in the ring and use our position to make a difference.” He adds, “IHWE wants to do something to help the children who admire and often imitate wrestlers make a difference in their schools and communities.” In his speech, Bearden addressed how serious the bullying epidemic has become and offer solutions, highlighting that communication is an essential component of putting an end to this problem that plagues our youth and their schools.
Other speakers included professional wrestlers Lance Hoyt, Franco D’Angelo, Randy Wayne, Kristopher Haiden, and David Fuller, president of the IHWE. Lance Hoyt addressed the prevalence of cyberbullying and how even the wrestlers, themselves, often fall victim to it. “People don’t always realize that we can be the victims of cyberbullying. Fans, with limited knowledge of what actually goes on behind the scenes, go online and voice their opinions about the matches that they have watched and what they believe should have happened in matches. Often, those reviews can be scathing, vicious, and downplays the efforts that wrestlers put into matches in order to entertain the wrestling fans.”
Bearden reflects, “We gathered together to discuss our stories about bullying and how it has affected some of our lives. I hope that the kids and their parents learned from what we had to say and will work together to help end bullying. Bullying is something that takes everyone to spot a stop to it. No one person can stop bullying and victims of bullying need to communicate with others, in order to get help in ending the bullying that they are facing. I am proud to be a part of this battle to end bullying, and I hope to see an end to it one day soon.”