The mountain-sized star of “The Blind Side’’ has kicked off a national anti-bullying campaign, revealing to Newmax TV’s Steve Malzberg that he was the victim of a group of school toughs growing up.
“I want to become the president of anti-bullying,’’ Quinton Aaron said on “The Steve Malzberg Show’’ on Friday.
Aaron says, "I don't shy away from the fact that I was bullied. Thankfully, I made the decision to change the direction of my life. It brought forward a positive outlook.“I was a skinny little kid — tall and lanky but goofy toothed, big forehead, glasses, bad haircut. You name it, I had it,’’ Aaron told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
“You run home every day from school, getting chased by kids who just wanted to beat you up just because you look funny.’’
But Aaron, who portrayed Michael Oher — the real-life homeless teen and who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a compassionate family — was able to get help.
“My mom put me in self-defense classes. I learned how to defend myself and the physical altercations stopped. And then it just all became verbal for the most part,’’ said the Bronx-born actor.
“But I grew thick skinned because my mom would always tell me, you know, if it’s not true, what do you care? You know what you know. Don’t let their words hurt you.’’
"I want to educate young children and teenagers by calling attention to bullying. When kids are involved in bullying, they often play more than one role. It is important to understand the multiple roles kids play in order to effectively prevent and respond to bullying."
“We’re raising awareness and really trying to be hands on with students and parents and teachers,’’ Aaron said.
His organization, the Quinton Aaron Foundation, which also tackles childhood obesity includes visits to schools, town hall meetings and leadership breakfasts across the country.
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