Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice used his Facebook page to lash out against bullying on Tuesday, just one day after a 15-year-old student was charged with shooting a fellow student on the first day of classes at Baltimore’s Perry Hall High School.
A man identified as the suspect’s father was quoted as saying his son had been bullied, prompting Rice to post his thoughts on the issue.
“Not related to Perry Hall directly and not advocating for or defending bullies,” he wrote, “but when a kid shoots another kid, something is really, really wrong. Bullying or not, how does nobody notice that something is going wrong in the kid’s life? How do people stand by and do nothing? We need to start saying, ‘What’s wrong?’ and do something about it tragedy strikes! I can’t help but wonder is was someone was kind to these kids if their paths would have shifted long ago and tragedies would be averted. Just makes me think … and wonder … and hope for better things.”
Robert Wayne Gladden, Jr. has been described by those who knew him at school as alienated and downcast, often picked on by some classmates for being “one of the weird kids.”
The subject of bullying has long been one dear to Rice’s heart. The Pro Bowl running back spoke about the issue this summer as part of his “A Ray of Hope: A Pro-Kindness, Anti-Bullying, Teen Suicide Prevention Outreach.”
Rice was again trying to spread a positive message to young people on Tuesday.
“Students … today … when you go to school … Sit with someone who is alone at the lunch table, befriend the new kid in class, lend a helping hand, make it a point to be kind, and if you see something that is not quite right, say something! You can be a HERO to someone, just by being their FRIEND!”