When we think of someone being bullied, we usually picture someone who’s too small to stand up for themselves, in the face of a much larger bully.
So when kids hear that someone who stands 6’8, and appeared in a movie portraying a character who eventually became an offensive lineman in the National Football League (one of the biggest players on the entire field), that’s when people really start to redefine their understanding of what bullying really is, and how it can take form.
That’s exactly the goal of Aaron Quinton, the actor who portrayed Michael Oher in the “Blind Side” film, starring Sandra Bullock.
In 2012, he formed the Quinton Aaron Foundation, furthering anti-bullying efforts, and the serious and life-threatening effects bullying has on kids and teens at school and in the community. The anti-bullying movement has gained increasing notoriety in recent years, and rightfully so. Each day, more than 160,000 kids stay home from school out of fear of being bullied. In recent years, there have been a startling number of stories of children and adolescents going as far as committing suicide, to free themselves of the pain and torment they’ve endured because of different forms of bullying.
Quinton himself was bullied as a child. He describes himself as someone who was bullied throughout elementary school, because he was more into things like drama and chorus, instead of playing sports. He says that wearing glasses and having crooked teeth gave even more ammunition to his tormentors.
That’s what drives him to work with teachers, administrators, parents, and children alike. His motivational — and educational — speeches about the effects and impact of bullying entail a comprehensive, holistic approach towards prevention, by using social emotional skill development for positive, widespread outcomes for all students
Aaron believes every child needs to fundamentally believe that they’re being heard, and accepted. His mission is to continue doing what he does, until he believes that this goal is accomplished.