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.