Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Lafayette Football Players Step Up to Block Bullying

laf bullying fb 300LEXINGTON, Ky, (9/16/13)— Football players at Lafayette High School are standing tall against bullying through a program co-founded by Denver Bronco linebacker Wesley Woodyard.

“Football is big here, and we’re like a big mouth saying ‘We’re against it,’” senior captain Kylan Nelson said one day at practice. “Everybody’s our equal here so everybody should be treated the same. It carries over to what’s taught out here – that we’re our brother’s keeper – so we watch out for classmates whether they’re our teammates or not.”

When Lafayette hosted Woodyard’s summer camp, the teenagers and coaches impressed the former UK standout, who drafted their school to join his 16Ways program. Now, an anti-bullying sticker on the back of each helmet proclaims the Generals' resolve. Lafayette is the first high school in the state on board; the Lexington Police Activities League also has stickers for kids ages 5-12 in its football program.

LaMont Love, executive director of the 16Ways Foundation, recently spoke to Lafayette parents at a booster club meeting and to the players at a pre-game meal. He described how the national nonprofit develops workshops, camps and other activities designed to build self-esteem, promote personal responsibility, and demonstrate the importance of academics, community involvement, and mental and physical fitness. Anti-bullying is a major focus.

“Every high school has a pervasive bullying culture, but we don’t sit back and accept that as part of our reality,” Principal Bryne Jacobs said. “We believe it does not have to be a part of high school, so we try to create a culture to reflect that.”

He is excited about the football team stepping up through 16Ways.

“It’s huge,” Jacobs said. “It’s an expectation that they are leaders in the building, so for a group as visible as the football team to take this stance is impactful.”

From his vantage point, Kylan sees verbal confrontation and cyberbullying as today’s prevalent sore spots, but he’s confident his teammates can meet the challenge.

“Stopping bullying starts with leaders, and being football players, we already have that natural tendency, so we should definitely be able to back up our classmates,” he said. “No one out here is afraid to speak up.”

Head coach Eric Shaw foresees various opportunities for his players to make a difference. For instance, as students change classes during the school day, they can keep an eye out in the hallways and alert a teacher or staff member to potential troublemakers.

“Bullying is a very dangerous, serious thing,” Shaw said. “Football teams are usually the big brother of the school. Once those players are involved, it can change the culture.”

Counting the freshmen, JV and varsity players, nearly 100 students are in Lafayette’s football program. That sizable presence, along with the status of athletes, carries weight.

“Most people respect the football team already, and it’s a matter of integrity,” Kylan said, explaining the Generals’ motivation.

His coach agreed.

“It makes a statement to the student body. The bullies know someone is watching and is not afraid to step in and say something on behalf of those being picked on,” Shaw said. “This is what a school does to take care of one another. We’re making sure those individuals who feel like outcasts feel part of the student body and part of the family.”

SurfKY News
Information and photos provided by Tammy Lane

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 22, 2014 3590

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 21, 2014 2500

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1839

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 21, 2014 1731

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - July…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
July 19, 2014 1692

Cash Mob Descends on Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 22, 2014 3590

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 23, 2014 1211

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 21, 2014 1154

Madisonville Fire Chief Announces…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1100

Three Injured in Three-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 19, 2014 1089

Local Hip-Hop Artist, Marack, Talks About…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 21, 2014 1176

Portion of Southeastern Parkway Closed…

in News by Beth Cecil
July 22, 2014 868

Alliance for a Drug Free Owensboro and…

in News by Carla Shelton
July 22, 2014 751

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd
July 23, 2014 644

Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance Meeting…

in News by Sherry Girten
July 21, 2014 475

Strahan Selected as Cravens Elementary…

in Top Stories by Julie Ellis

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 21, 2014 2500

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1839

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 19, 2014 1692

Cash Mob Descends on Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 23, 2014 1139

Greenville Family Loses Home, Possessions…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 733

Swinging for Sadie Raises $6,000 for…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03