Deaf and Hearing Students “Knock Out Bullying” with MMA Fighters

A little rain didn’t stop over 100 kids
from central Phoenix schools from coming to the Phoenix Zoo today. Why? To Knock Out Bullying! Sulem: “I grew up in south Phoenix and bullying has always been a part of the area that I’ve lived in.” Jack: ” ‘Cause there’s always gonna be some bullying until some people come together.” And that’s what these kids did today —
they talked about what bullying means. Maritza: “Bullying is like beating up someone else or pushing them –” Osmar: “Yeah, pushing them!” Maritza: “or calling them names, something like that right?” Willow: “Hitting someone? Well, I don’t know, bullying isn’t just about that sometimes it’s about hurting their self-esteem too.” Student: “…calling names, lying.” Student: “Definitely through social media.” Speaker: Acting like the boss of someone else. Good work, thank you!” Then they talked about how to deal with it. Student: “It made me sad and hurt my self
esteem a bit, but now I know to just feel sorry for her!” Dyan: “Do you feel better about everything now?” Student: “Yes.” Stephanie: “But at the end of the day, it’s about planting the seeds and growing them. So for me it was really important to do something, it was about giving back.” Stephanie Holland is the founder of Knock
Out Bullying. Stephanie “I think everyone is a victim of
bullying at some point.” She brought together boxers and MMA fighters from all over to talk to these kids. Speaker: “I started boxing because of bullying. I’m proof that you can overcome bullying, and you can overcome the hurtful words or whatever else it is.” Speaker: “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never harm me.” Becky: “We will share your experiences as
well as well as even sharing that community of talking about this issue in a safe space.” Matthew: “You know I was bullied back in the day, and so I believe it happens a lot still today with kids. So I think by not fighting back and using physical, but just speaking up and raising awareness I think that’s what positive about today’s program for everybody.” Over 30% of kids have been bullied or bullied someone themselves according to ABC news. That’s why we’re seeing events like these
on the rise. Teacher: “Usually that person has been bullied themselves and so after they get bullied they decide to bully someone else. It just gets passed down and that needs to stop, don’t you think? Student: “Well, we’re here today to try and stop bullying, change peoples lives and futures. And also hang out with hearing kids from other schools.” Stephanie: “The real key was inclusiveness. There was a bunch of people that today were here that speak and aren’t deaf. And it was really important to learn how we can work with each other.” Stephanie hopes to continue Knock Out Bullying every year in the same city as the Super Bowl. Stephanie: “It was a time to really give
back. You know a lot happens around the Super Bowl. There’s millions of dollars spent, people fly in and out.” Student: “It made me really happy getting
to see them tell their life stories.” Many of the people who met with the kids fought in the first ever Super Brawl MMA fight that night. You can see full coverage of the fight
by clicking on this video.