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Jasper speaks out against bullying


The Bills' Mike Jasper, #69, is a mammoth 6'4" and 383 pound athletic offensive lineman who was the first-ever NFL draft pick from Bethel College (Tennessee). Selected #245 in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft as a defensive lineman, Jasper made strides on the Bills practice squad after making the position switch to offensive line. He was promoted to the Bills active roster at the end of the season.

On January 4th, Jasper impressed kindergarten students from Buffalo Public School #17 with his large but athletic physical appearance, and then surprised many of them when he shared his story about being bullied as a young kid himself.

Jasper spoke to the children about bullying and what it means to be a good friend. He also read the book *How Full is your Bucket *to the kids and discussed why everyone should be nice to one another.

"Not only did I get to come out here and just be a big kid, I got to really talk to the kids about what it means to be a good person and to not bully others," said Jasper. "Today, bullying is such an issue all over. If you can start teaching children the difference between right and wrong, I think it can really make a difference down the road."

In addition to the classroom visits, Jasper was asked to specifically visit three boys in the third grade that were coincidentally in the principal's office for being bullies. He personally spoke to the kids and told them that being a bully isn't cool, and talked to them about how he was bullied when he was younger.

Jasper promised the boys that he was going to check in with their teachers when he returns from Tennessee during the offseason. If he finds out that they were on their best behavior and not bullying their classmates, then he said that he would be proud of them and come back with some Buffalo Bills t-shirts and autographs.

When Jasper returns to Buffalo for his offseason training, he plans to go back to the school to specifically check on the boys.

"Speaking with the three boys in the principal's office really hit a nerve for me," said Jasper. "But I am going to stick to my word and come back in just over a month, and I'll see how they're doing. If they've been good, I have some nice little gifts in store for them."

At the end of the visit, a special Red Velvet Buffalo Bills cake was shared by the students, teachers and Jasper. He also signed autographs, took pictures with the kids and answered some fun personal questions about what some of his favorite things are such as:  Favorite color – red and blue, Favorite food – steak, and Favorite kid's song – "Wheels on the Bus."

Jasper may be an imposing and strong man physically, but he is just as strong against bullying and has just as big of a heart - especially for kids.

"Kids are the greatest," said Jasper. "Anything that has to do with kids, I'm there."

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