Thomas Jefferson

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BM-Xtra Kind to Your Peers

Posted 10/11/2017 by Logan Cecil

Top BMX competitors demonstrate their athletic prowess to the TJ community. photo by Andrew Villescas

Top skateboard and BMX athletes educate Spartans about how to deal with bullying.

In a recent study, it was reported that more than 22% of high schoolers nationwide said that they had been bullied while at school. While just one statistic, this is the root of many other problems students have, and it is the cause of some negative behaviors. Hoping to address this issue, TJ welcomed the Action Sports Association (ASA) Anti-Bullying High School Tour to the campus with their message: love yourself and know you have the ability to put an end to bullying.  

TJ had the opportunity to host the High School Tour event on campus on September 5th. The event was held behind the school on the soccer field, and it featured five of the top skateboard and BMX athletes in the world. These athletes include Coco Zurita, Mykel Larrin, Josh Stafford, Alex Landeros, and Koj Kraft. In cooperation with Dustin Grice, the emcee for the tour, they put on a very exciting performance for the TJ community while also teaching everyone about methods of dealing with harassment and bullying.

The ASA Entertainment company is a partner in the action sports industry, claiming they are “the single source solution for action sports since 1994.” The organization hosts approximately 150 events per year, with sports ranging from skateboarding to motocross, and even surfing. One of the events that they’ve been hosting since 2013 is their High School Tour, which supports the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate Campaign and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. These events are hosted nationwide, and showcase some of the top professional skateboarders, inline skaters, and BMX riders from around the world.  Their hope is to make these events interactive while keeping it educational and fun for the students.

ASA manager Tyler Hank is a critical part to the success of the tour. Hank tried to make a career out of his passion for skating, but as Hank said, “not everyone can be a pro-skater,” so he started filming and taking photos for skate videos as an alternative. After making a name for himself with his videography, he was approached by ASA Entertainment about a job opportunity. After fifteen years he is still working hard, stating that his favorite aspect of his career is “getting to travel the country with friends and set up half pipes in the middle of soccer fields.” Despite running the event for so many years, he says he still loves doing his job and having students come up to him to thank him for the assembly makes the job special.

One of the many Spartans in attendance, junior and BMX enthusiast Maximo Nastri greatly enjoyed the event. “Getting to watch some of these athletes at the X-Games, and getting to see them here, it was very cool,” Nastri said. Assistant principal Jon Poole also commended the event, saying “TJ is a unique place… there is really a sense of family and people take care of each other. I think it reinforced that.” Having ASA come to TJ was certainly an experience was one that TJ won’t soon forget, and it will leave a lasting positive impact on the community.