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Bully-Free ABA! is an anti-bully campaign run by the American Basketball Association. It was founded by CEO Joe Newman after his grandchildren became victims of bullying. The program features ABA teams visiting local schools to share stories about their own experience with bullies and how the issue can be solved.
Supported by over 90 ABA franchise teams, the program’s goal is to decrease incidents of bullying in schools using proven intervention and conflict resolution skills. In the Kitsap Admirals version of the program, the players perform a skit depicting a hopeful "student" inquiring to tryout for the school's basketball or cheerleading team. The "student" is greeted by forms of both physical and verbal bullying by team members (such as name calling and pushing), before the narrator says "Stop!" and the scene freezes.
The audience is then asked to reflect on the scene performed, first by identifying the forms of bullying portrayed. A question and answer period then begins where the program recovers how to handle such situations. The players and coaches then take a moment to share stories of their own experiences with bullying. The program concludes with student/player interaction time.
The program has been gaining momentum throughout the league.
"Bullying has become an epidemic at all three levels and the effort to eliminate it has been lacking. Kids are being terrorized on school buses and in schools and very little is being done to protect them." -Joe Newman
- "Bully-Free ABA!". Staten Island Vipers. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- "BULLIES ARE COWARDS". Jacksonville Giants. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Koeblin, Chris. "Kitsap Admirals Shoot for Bully-Free Kitsap County". Macaroni Kid Kitsap. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Oxley, Richard D (14 February 2013). "Admirals take shots at bullies". Bainbridge Island Review. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- "ABA Targets School Bullying!". Colorado Kings. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
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