Autism Alliance of Michigan launches statewide anti-bullying campaign

Campaign will stop at 659 middle schools in 1 year on 'Relentless Tour'

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

DETROIT - An ambitious anti-bullying campaign kicked off in a big way Thursday morning in Lansing and will be coming to your child's middle school. 

The Autism Alliance of Michigan is tapping one of its biggest members, 6 foot 9 inches tall former Michigan State basketball player Anthony Ianni.

Ianni, an AAOM representative and anti-bullying expert, plans to visit 659 middle schools in Michigan in just 180 days as part of the "Relentless Tour."

Ianni plans on delivering a big message. 

Ianni was diagnosed with autism at an early age. His parents were told that he might graduate high school, but after that he would likely live in a group home.

He was bullied in school as well. 

Instead, Ianni used the doctor's words and the hurtful bullying to become the nation's first autistic college basketball players -- and he graduated from MSU last year.

"I've had a lot of people say I can't get to all of these schools, they say wait a year. I can't wait for another bullied kid to take their life," Ianni told Local 4 News. 

Sponsors have secured an RV that Ianni will travel in throughout the state.

His first stop is next Wednesday at a school in Berkley. 

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who has an autistic daughter, also helped kick off the campaign.

Click here to donate.

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