My twenty-seventh stop on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign brought me to East Troy, Wisconsin. When I arrived at the school, the sign out front welcomed me by telling me it was 10-degrees outside of my warm car.
But then it greeted me personally and I got all warm and fuzzy inside!
When I parked, I watched several people leave a shed behind the school, carrying sleds to a nearby hill. Did this school actually have sleds to borrow? I kind of wanted to join them, but I had a presentation to set up. Because, y'know...work.
Last year, I did a Skype visit with a class at East Troy that studies Thirteen Reasons Why. In the hallway, there were character charts students made for that class.
Once I made sure everything was working for my presentation, I had a few minutes to waste, so grabbed a selfie with the empty bleachers.
And here's what it looked like after the students arrived.
Well, students...and one author sitting in the front row.
At the beginning of my presentation, I half-jokingly told the students that if anyone wanted to go sledding later, I didn't have any equipment, but didn't mind sharing theirs. Unfortunately, they seemed to think I was fully-joking.
I then spoke to a room of students who are part of Be the Change. I continue to be inspired by the many out-of-the-box ways schools and students are pushing back against bullying and other issues that have been shrugged off as something "everyone goes through" for too long.
I had a great lunch at a local restaurant with a student and a faculty member. I forget the official name of what I ate, but it could've been called Sumpin' Pumpkin Spicy.
When I returned to school, I learned that a group of students didn't take my sledding desire as a joke. They took it seriously!
Here's what it looks like when a California guy who hasn't been on a sled since he was a kid gets on a small board and slides down a hill with teens looking on.
Yep, I'm cool like that.