Ravens star Ray Rice took to Facebook in the wake of the shooting at Perry Hall High School to speak out against bullying and urge kids to befriend the lonely.
Saying he was "pretty much moved to tears" by news of the shooting on the first day of school, Rice wrote at length, urging kids to be nice to one another.
"I am speechless and pretty much moved to tears," Rice wrote. "How is it that there is such a lack of SIMPLE HUMAN DECENCY AND KINDNESS toward one another? How does bullying reach THIS level?? Some people might think that bullying is only between two people and bystanders are not affected. Well that is crap! EVERYONE is affected. I am affected, YOU are affected. TWO lives have been hurt now...the shooter and the victim. RIDICULOUS! I can't possibly yell it loud enough or say it often enough - BE KIND TO EACH OTHER!"
Bullying is a meaningful topic for Rice. In June he spoke to thousands of people about it at Merriweather Post Pavilion, part of his "A Ray of Hope: A Pro-Kindness, Anti-Bullying, Teen Suicide Prevention Outreach."
On Facebook, he told young people they could be a "hero" by being nice to someone who needs a friend.
"What if this kid had a friend to talk to???" He wrote. "The outcome may have been SO different."
He continued: "Students...today when you go to school...Sit with someone who is alone at the lunch table, befriend the new kid in class, lend a helping hand, make it a point to be kind, and if you see something that is not quite right, say something!! You can be a HERO to someone, just by being their FRIEND!"
Rice also urged people to be more aware, looking for young people who might be in distress.
"Bullying or not, how does nobody notice that something is going wrong in the kid's life? How do people stand by and do nothing?" he wrote. "We need to start saying 'what's wrong?' and do something about it before tragedy strikes! I can't help but wonder if someone was kind to these kids if their paths would have shifted long ago and tragedies would be averted. Just makes me think...and wonder...and hope for better things."
@BaltInsider on TwitterCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun