The U.S. Marines and BMX riders got together in the Mumford High School parking lot to talk about bullying on Sept. 27. Former assistant principal Bret Woodly arranged for the “No Hate Tour” to come to Mumford close to October to mark anti-bullying month.
The No Hate Tour, created 22 years ago, is a group of BMX riders that goes around the United States to different events and schools to spread positivity and discourage bullying through entertainment and stunts. The Marines partnered with the No Hate Tour over 20 years ago.
“It’s a positive show; the kids love it, y’know, it’s a great message,” BMX rider Trevor Meyer said. “Not all of us are into football, basketball, traditional sports, so this is an alternative sport that’s super positive that kids may get into just to have fun. It keeps kids out of trouble.”
The riders talked about bullying as they entertained the crowd of students with tricks they’ve been practicing for years. Shantinque Brown felt the intended effect of the program.
“I feel like the No Hate Tour was moving and inspirational because it shows people still care about bullying and it needs to stop,” Brown said.
The message was meant to be meaningful and positive, but the response was mixed among the student body. The idea that BMX riding could prevent bullying in any sense feels silly to some people.
“I feel like it was a waste of time. We were outside to watch people do tricks on bikes and I honestly don’t see how that can prevent bullying,” junior Javion Bryant said.
Partnering with the No Hate Tour, the Marines made their own mark on the event. They ran a pull-up competition to encourage students to participate in physical exercise and they did some recruiting. Sgt. Cano called it a mutual partnership.
“We assist in funding and traveling and logistics for the tour, and, in return, our recruiters get to travel with an encouraging band of people,” Cano said.