Northport K-8 middle grades students from the Sharks, Dolphins, Stingrays, and Mariner teams and their teachers met in the Northport Media Center recently for an important program. Students welcomed a local man with a very powerful message and a story that students can relate to in some way about bullying and coming together as a community to stop the vicious cycle of bullying. Children listened intently to Joe Wojcik, better known to students as “Joe the Biker” tell his story of being bullied as a youth and his powerful reaction to that bullying.

Students learned about the word “empathy” and understood that they each have a very important voice as a member of the Northport Community. Each learned some tools to help stop bullying such as asserting themselves the right way, acting with confidence, even if you don’t feel confident, responding evenly and firmly, walking away, standing up for their rights and not to bring games to school. Students listened intently and were truthful when discussing the issue of “Cyberbullying” with Joe. The group spoke of just how easily cyberbullying can happen and that even the most innocuous remarks made on-line can be devastating to another person. One of the students asked Joe, “Why do you even care?” That question spoke volumes to Northport Des Brooks, Principal Glenn Rustay, and to the teachers present.

Joe spoke to the students about his battles in life and just how hard it was to overcome his issues. He told students that his life mission and passion were to bring the message of empowerment against bullies to all students, but that if he could save just one life, his purpose will have been met. Joe has written several books. Many Northport students have read his book, Call Me Yubbie, which depicts his story of being bullied and how he overcame his hurt. “Joe the Biker” recently won the award for #1 non-profit organization in Saint Lucie County at the Chamber of Commerce Business and Industry Awards.

Joe will hold a fundraiser for his “Yubbie Foundation” on October 24 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Treasure Coast Harley Davidson shop in Stuart, FL themed “Bikers and Friends Against Bullying.” Northport K-8 School is proud to call “Joe the Biker” an integral member of the Northport School Community and we thank him over and over for delivering his very powerful message to our children.