BRIAN REYNOLDS: Ambassador Against Bullying & Violence
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
I had experienced mean kids on occasion throughout my life in school, the scouts, recess, summer camp, etc., but I had always managed to avoid these people and eventually they would forget about me. Nothing had prepared me for what was to become the nightmare of my life when I started a new school and two boys targeted me for no reason, just because they could. When my bullying experience started, I didn’t know anyone at the new school, but I never had any problems making friends before, so it wasn’t even a consideration.
It started in the locker room on the first day of football practice over the summer before school started. I had my stuff thrown around, books knocked out of my hands, spit wads and other things land on me, then it turned to being pushed in the halls and trapped in the stairwell, making me late for class. It got to the point that I felt threatened every moment I was in school.
Every day was worse than the day before with these two students trying to outdo each other in their verbal and physical assaults on me. I went from an Honor Roll A student to not wanting to even go to school anymore. I lost my appetite since the cafeteria was a nightmare at lunch with no one wanting to sit by me. I couldn’t sleep at night and combined with football after school, eventually I became physically sick. This also led to my not being able to focus in class and my grades dropping, which added even more stress.
I never told anyone about my situation. I thought that once classes started, the other students would get get to know me and my life would get better. It never did. There were lots of bystanders, but no one ever intervened to help. They all turned a blind eye and ignored my situation. Months later, my parents found out through my reaction to social media. Lucky for me, they immediately approached the school administration and once they realized that the problem was not going to be solved, my parents withdrew me.
BULLYtalk WAS BORN
From this horrible experience, my life did a complete turn-around. My father inspired me to take martial arts in order to learn how to defend myself. Once I started Taekwondo, I was hooked, and wanted to move in to the studio. I took classes back to back and started competition. Through time I was able to regain my self esteem and I made it my personal mission to try to understand the bullying problem and see if there were ways that I could possibly help anyone that was going through it now by sharing my story. I made speeches to elementary and middle schools. Anytime, I saw a student that was having trouble, I told them that my biggest regret was not telling an adult. If I would have told a teacher, my coach, my parents, my scout leader, or anyone, I would have never experienced this situation for so long, nor would it have spiraled out of hand so fast.
Through my personal success in Taekwondo, I was identified as a potential champion in boxing. I moved to Las Vegas to train in preparation for the 2016 Olympics at the Mayweather Boxing Club. When I wasn’t training or studying, I focussed on my anti-bullying campaign. I wrote articles and did interviews with Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Jeremy Lin, David Copperfield, and many others. I was appointed as Ambassador by the World Boxing Council for World Champions Against Bullying.
I was never able to find the right platform to post my interviews, which was the motivation behind establishing this website. My mission is to show that everyone experiences some form of bullying and I hope that my stories and experienced will be an inspiration to those that are going through it now. Everyone just has to get through it and concentrate on successes.
After a year training in Las Vegas, combined with the recent rule changes and politics in amateur boxing, my family and I moved to Los Angeles where I will begin college soon. I will continue to work on more interviews, share stories, and get the word out against bullying.
I hope that you will join me with this effort.