He is an entertainer and athlete who was bullied as a child. To this day, he is still teased and taunted in public. Chris Hollyfield has a form of dwarfism. On Tuesday, he came to Biloxi Junior High to show students how gossip, cyber-bullying, and violence can ruin lives.
Hollyfield once starred in the professional wrestling arena. But these days, he is on a different stage and tackling a new opponent -- bullies.
"I saw people getting to the point where they were harming themselves, shooting up schools, and retaliating because they were being picked on," said Hollyfield. "I knew what it was like because of my visual differences. So it was like, I need to take a stand with this."
Standing only four-feet-four-inches tall, Hollyfield told Biloxi Junior High students about the painful teasing he endured for much most of his life.
"Everybody would walk away and laugh and mock at the way I walk, because of the way my legs bow out," said Hollyfield. "Some of the older students, they picked me up and tried to hang me by my belt. My belt broke and I hit face first."
Hollyfield didn't let bullies stop him from achieving his dreams of becoming an actor and athlete.
"The NBA didn't call me. I'm still waiting on that call," he joked.
Now, he uses his skills to motivate others.
"I'm blessed with this. I wouldn't change this and the way I look at it, I can't change the way I look, but I can always change my attitude towards other people," said Hollyfield.
"Can you wobble?" a student asked Hollyfield.
"I wobble naturally," he responded with a smile.
"I didn't think it was right when people bullied him when he was a kid," said sixth grader Brooke Carey. "He's a victim and he knows how it feels and he can direct you."
"I got that I should treat people with more respect and I should be nicer to people," said sixth grader Moses Fagin.
Hollyfield encouraged the students to speak up if they witness bullying.
"Every day, there's someone out there getting hurt just by bullying going on in schools, and until someone stands up and does something about it, we won't be able to help fix the problem," he told them.
Hollyfield left the students with his three-Ds for success.
"You must have the dedication, determination, and desire to be a friend and not a bully," said Hollyfield.
Hollyfield's appearance was a total surprise to the students. He founded the 3-D TEAM Foundation and has brought his anti-bullying message to hundreds of schools all over the country. His motto is "Short in Stature, Big on Bullies".
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