Southwest Middle School in Albert Lea, Minnesota got a big surprise today when students were invited to a special assembly featuring athletes from the X Games, who were sharing messages of kindness and respect. The kids were absolutely ecstatic to meet the players and to also participate in the event.

Natasha Laue, Southwest 7th grader, shared her experiences with bullying because it could impact her fellow peers. “At first it was, like, really nerve-wracking,” Laue said. “And then, like, you know what? Let me just do it and see what other people think. See if they’re going through it because you never know if anyone else is going through it.” Because of her incredible participation, Natasha now gets to go to this summer’s X Games at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Not only were the students having a blast, but the administrators and commentators were over the moon as well. One of the X Games commentators, Brandon Graham, stated “It honestly is the best thing that we do, I think we put on the Super Bowl of action sports,” Graham said. “Getting to be here in schools like Southwest is by far the most rewarding thing I know I do personally as part of the X Games.”

No one was left empty handed as students were given hats, t-shirts, and autographs from Brandon Graham. How cool! It was powerful to see what an impact Shred Hate had made on the school and to see this assembly in action. Southwest has been a part of the Shred Hate program, which is a middle and high school program created by ESPN, supported by Major League Baseball and X Games, that seeks to eliminate bullying by encouraging kids to choose kindness. Shred Hate sponsors No Bully training in schools.