TAYLOR MILL, Ky. - Former Cincinnati Bengal and NFL Pro Bowl safety David Fulcher spoke to the football team at Scott High School Thursday night about the impacts of bullying.
The school is part of the Kenton County School District, which last month had an 8th grader commit suicide because he was bullied.
Friends of Sam Denham, 13, say he was constantly picked on for the way he dressed, for having good grades and for being friends with kids who were often ignored. His mother, Carol found him dead on Oct. 14.
"We don't want to see any other parents go through what we've been through," Carol said. "It's devastating."
She and her husband Daryl were at Fulcher's presentation and say his presence helps the kids learn and helps their family cope with the grief.
"We have to get the word out to the kids. How to respect each other. They have to learn empathy," Carol said. "Just because you think something's funny doesn't give you the right to hurt somebody. They don't understand how hurtful some things can be."
Daryl met with Fulcher privately, gave him a picture of his son and thanked him for speaking to the kids.
"When you're dealing with a certain situation, there's a better way to handle it besides doing something out of the norm, and that's just speaking and talking to someone and not clamming up with things get tough," Fulcher said.
Fulcher met with the kids individually and autographed pictures and footballs.
He says athletes can help prevent bulling by not picking on kids and report students who do. He says athletes thrive on the sense of being part of team and if that sense of belonging can spread throughout the school, then fewer kids will get bullied.