SHS anti-bully campaign hits high gear

The man energizing a crowd of high schoolers Friday with personal songs and nimble dancing hardly moved with such confidence when he was their age.
Alissa Widman Neese
Mar 24, 2013

 

A bullying victim, Jim Linehan drew inward — quiet, miserable and alone.

Sometimes he didn’t think he’d make it. Then things changed.

A taekwondo class boosted his confidence. He landed the lead in the school musical as a senior. Quickly, he found his purpose through performing and learned the bullies who terrorized him were wrong.

Linehan moved to New York City to pursue a college education and now travels the country educating thousands of students.

His positive message: Focus on your strengths, work hard and believe in yourself.

“You’re never as alone as you think you are,” Linehan said.

Want to learn more? Click here to read about JLINE’s national anti-bullying campaign.

Linehan — now known as “JLINE” — and dancers Carrie Lee and Kelly Powers used music and dancing to convey the lesson at Sandusky High School. His song “Ready Set Go” is now featured on MTV.

Lea Westerhold, 15, made the event possible with funds won through the “Rise of the Guardians” Guard Against Bullying Sweepstakes. The 10th-grader penned an essay to win the national anti-bullying contest, landing $5,000 to use for programs benefiting Sandusky students.

The essay included personal experiences and a description of an anti-bullying contract her class signed a few months ago, Westerhold said.

“Bullying usually isn’t physical, it’s mental or emotional,” she said. “I really liked their message because this affects a lot of people. I’m glad I was able to bring something like this to Sandusky.”

Geometry teacher Brad Agee encouraged his students to enter the contest and said he was very satisfied with the end result.

In addition to today’s event, the sophomore class will travel to Camp Mary Orton in Worthington for trust-building activities in May, Agee said.

“They had a lot of fun and I think it reached a lot of students,” he said. “It’s something we can all relate to.”