Local Group Fighting To End School Bullying

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The Teen Bullying Response Squad is having a Community Care Day on Father`s Day weekend.  The group uses martial arts to advocate for bullies, victims and school administrators.

"Bullying is a huge public-safety issue," said North County Patrolman John Hank. "Not just for the children involved but for the bullies themselves."

That`s right.  Both bullies and victims are welcome to the André`s MMA Academy in St. Peters.  They will learn martial arts under the supervision of champ Jermaine André and North County officers.  André said the squad actually goes to the schools on behalf of all kids and even administrators.

"If I'm a bully and I'm bullying you and we help you, that's fine and dandy," Squad president Sean Wade pointed out.  "But, if you go on and I leave you alone, I can go deal with another 4 or 5 other kids and bully them as well."

"That's why we've decided to come up with the Teen Bullying Response Squad," Officer Hank explained.

"We're letting them know that we're here to help you," André said.  "We got your back.  What kind of help do you guys need, also?"

"André wants all children to know that non-violence should be a mainstay in all of their relationships."

"I don't want you punching your friends, your cousins, your sisters," André warned an 8-year-old student.  "If you do, you will have a problem with me."

"The prerequisite of the martial arts, or a martial artist, even a mixed martial artist, combatant, one who competes," he explained.  "Is self-control and discipline."

"In," he breathed during a meditation with the student.  "Hold it."

"To keep their mind under control," André said. "So they don't panic when these types of situations approach them. Most importantly, if they do have to defend themselves knowing techniques that they can use so that they don't have to go pick up a hammer or go home and get a weapon to defend themselves."

André said this can make a bullying attack survivable for everyone involved.

The Community Care Day will feature free gun locks, health screenings and martial arts lessons.  There will be a live band as well as firefighters and paramedics from several jurisdictions.

Grand Slam Flea Market
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Highway 367 and Chambers Rd in North County.


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