Former MSU basketball star speaks to students about bullying - WNEM TV 5

Former MSU basketball star speaks to students about bullying

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Stopping bullies and preventing kids from becoming one is the goal of a statewide tour that swung through Mid-Michigan on Monday.

Former Michigan State basketball star Anthony Ianni took the message to schools all over the state.

Ianni brought his relentless tour to North Saginaw Charter Academy and shared a deep personal account of a time he was bullied by a fifth grader he considered a close friend.

"He knew I was born with autism. He knew I said and did things differently than others," Ianni said. "Then he betrayed me and took advantage of me because he knew everything about me."

Ianni overcame bullying, not by giving into his bully's requests, but by focusing on getting stronger and better.

He is now a motivational speaker who hopes his personal triumph will inspire children to not give into bullies.

Ianni was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 4.

"Don't treat somebody based on their different opinions, hair color, eye color, skin color, nationalities - because we're all part of something special," Ianni said.

In 2011 Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that requires every Michigan school to have a policy that speaks to students about bullying.

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