PGA Tour Champions player and Ponte Vedra native Len Mattiace visited Landrum Middle School last week to speak with students about bullying and how to raise awareness of the issue and ultimately eliminate it.
Mattiace met with 30 sixth- and seventh-grade students, discussing his own experiences of being bullied as a kid, as well as the experiences of his daughter, Noelle, who Mattiace said was bullied in both elementary and high school. The event was part of the golfer’s efforts with the Stand for the Silent anti-bullying organization to talk to a group of students about bullying before each one of his tournaments.
“It hits home to me because it’s a personal issue,” said Mattiace, who visited Landrum on Wednesday, April 18. “I really feel like it’s a preventable behavior that’s still an issue today.”
Mattiace said Landrum plans to address the issue by challenging their students to sign anti-bullying pledges May 4, which is Anti-Bullying Day. In addition, the school plans to create an upcoming project involving all students of the school to raise awareness of the issue.
“As long as kids are aware of this, I think the environment will be a lot better,” Mattiace said. “I think kids will be less prone to latch onto the meanness, to the bullying … and be more compassionate.”