Hundreds Unite Against Bullying
Former Packer Gilbert Brown and a screening of an anti-bullying documentary were featured at the inaugural event of nonprofit group Greendale Against Bullying.
Before he became the memorable nose tackle on the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers team, "The Gravedigger" Gilbert Brown was something else: bullied.
He was known as the "fat kid," and teased often about his weight by other students at school.
But even though he knows a thing or two about being bullied, he admitted prior to speaking at Greendale Against Bullying's inaugural event Wednesday that today's cyber harassment is even more intense.
"They take it to a new level," Brown said.
Brown spoke to hundreds of students and adults who filled the Greendale High School auditorium to watch a version of the award-winning documentary "Bully."
The documentary, released in 2011, follows the lives of five students who faced bullying every day in school. Shown Wednesday was CNN's slighty-abbreviated program about the kids featured in the film.
Some 4,200 fliers promoting the event were distributed around Greendale. GAB members also advertised beyond the village's borders in neighboring schools like Whitnall, Greenfield, Franklin and Oak Creek.
About 200 students from Milwaukee Public Schools were on hand Wednesday as well.
"We're for the community. Not just Greendale—we're here for everybody," said Vickie Hausmchild, a GAB board member and MPS liaison.
GAB formed after a 17-year-old made a bomb threat during homecoming week and later told police he wanted to disrupt homecoming activities due to prolonged bullying.
The Greendale School District also formed a task force focused on culture and climate issues in schools. The group made several recommendations earlier this year.
Brown believes tougher penalties should be enforced on those who bully. He said he got involved with the anti-bullying cause after hearing about bullied children commit suicide.
"It doesn't matter how big you are, or how strong you are. People in the workplace get bullied too, which is amazing to me," Brown said.
"I'm here to show these kids that regardless of what you're going through, we're going to help you, or try to help you, and help you succeed in life."