Minisink Valley High School freshmen and sophomores had an important anti-bullying message reinforced to them during a special assembly featuring professional BMX riders performing stunts in the school’s gym today, Sept. 26.
“The No Hate High School Tour,” now in its 23rd year, is an impactful educational program that uses the energy and excitement of action sports to deliver critical bullying prevention tools, techniques, and information to students in a relatable, peer-to-peer manner.
The program features top BMX stars performing high-energy action sports shows on campus while speaking to the students about their own experiences with bullying, overcoming obstacles, being an ally, inclusion, kindness, surrounding yourself with positive influences, problem-solving, mental health awareness, and other important subjects that really resonate with teens. Their educational message is presented in a fun, positive and interactive fashion.
At Minisink Valley, BMX bikers performed amazing tricks that sent them high in the air, wowing cheering students, faculty and administrators.
BMX tricks, also known as stunts, are maneuvers performed on BMX bikes. BMX tricks can be performed on any type of terrain, but are most commonly done on dirt jumps, quarter pipes, and ramps. In BMX Freestyle, riders perform routines consisting of sequences of tricks carried out on flat ground, in the streets, on dirt jumps, a halfpipe and/or on constructed ramps. In competition, riders are judged on the quality of their performance. BMX Freestyle competition appeared in its first Olympic Games in 2021 in Tokyo.
The assembly featured a special stunt featuring Coach Kevin Gallagher’s participation. Coach Gallagher sat on the top of the platform in a chair, arms raised in the air, while a BMX biker raced up the ramp and flipped over him in mid-air, to the delight and cheers of students and staff.
But there was a very important message was stressed among “cool factor” of BMX action sports and the main reason for the assembly: Hate and bullying are unacceptable.
Master of Ceremony Dana Sieg reminded students that any type of bullying is unacceptable, stressing bullying comes in many forms: physical, verbal, psychological and cyber.
“It’s easy to get behind a computer and talk trash about someone,” he said, cautioning students to be mindful of the negative consequences of cyberbullying. “But remember, someone on the ‘other side’ reads it. And that’s a big deal to people when it impacts that person negatively. Don’t do it.”
He also reminded students that if they ever experience any type of bullying, their teachers and administrators are prepared to help them stop this.
“They love and care about you more than you will ever realize,” he said. “That’s why they’re using valuable class time to bring you here today.”
Mr. Sieg also told students they should never stray from following their life’s dreams and passions, because that will keep them “in a positive place and help block out the negativity” of anyone trying to discourage them.
He singled out BMX rider Zack Newman and as example, explaining that as a child, Mr. Newman wanted to take part in the sport. His mother was only able to afford used equipment: A pink helmet, leopard print knee pads and an oversized bike.
At the park, older kids made fun of him and harassed him to a point that he almost quit.
But after pep talks from his mother, he decided to stick with it and “put in the dedication, perseverance and drive, not giving up,” Mr. Sieg stressed, encouraging students to the same.
He efforts paid off: In addition to being a part of the ASA High School Tour, Mr. Newman won the bronze medal in BMX Vert at X Games Minneapolis 2018.
Afterward, a good-natured pull-up competition took place, with students demonstrating their strengths. BMX bikers offered autographed cards to delighted students, with many asking the bikers to sign notebooks.
“The No Hate High School Tour” assembly was sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps and ASA Entertainment.
See more photos on the district’s Facebook page.