Parents say education is critical to overcoming bullying

Richie Incognito

The Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin bullying case has drawn criticism from NFL players across the country, including the former SU and Houston Texans running back Damien Rhodes right here in Syracuse.

"There's no place for that what you're seeing down in Miami is totally unacceptable, we would never tolerate that with my team at F-M whatsoever let alone in Syracuse, nothing even close to that happened even at Houston," says Rhodes.

Rhodes says there is a different mentality in a locker room, however this does not excuse this behavior at any level. In his own high school locker room at Fayetteville-Manlius he says there is a chain of command when there is any case of suspected bullying.

"They either need to see myself or someone at a higher rank at the school. That should never happen and we have great captains and leadership on the team where I would think if something like that was going on they would go tell one of us," says Rhodes.

After hearing about this bullying case down in Miami, many parents and neighbors up here in Syracuse say this topic is one which needs to be openly discussed.

Kelly Neilly is a parent concerned about bullying. "They just need to crack down, they need to have cameras in the locker rooms or whatever they need to do," says Neilly.

In cases like this one with the Dolphins, cell phones were being used to bully. To stop bullying on this level, parents say education on bullying both inside and outside of school is critical for their children.

Kathleen Yorio has seen her two kids grow up and graduate from the Weedsport school district. "It makes it quicker, a kid in a classroom at one end of the building, can get to the kid in the classroom at the other end of the building before the information is disseminated quicker. It almost makes it like a wildfire," says Yorio.

The NFL players union says it calls on the league to set a safe environment for the players. Parents would like to see a better example on bullying from all of the adults involved.