CEDAR LAKE | Michael Biegel is a Hanover Middle School eighth-grader with big dreams.
He wants to play varsity baseball for Hanover High School and be good enough to win a baseball scholarship to Stanford University. Then, he’d like to end up as a draft pick by his favorite team, the New York Yankees.
But even kids with big dreams get bullied. Not long ago, Biegel was bullied at Hanover Central Middle School. He was teased and called names, he said.
The experience hurt and depressed him, but Assistant Principal Chris Ross intervened and put a stop to the bullying.
His report of being bullied took some Hanover officials by surprise. But it just goes to show, Biegel said, bullying can happen to anyone.
The 14-year-old president of the Hanover Central Middle School Student Council decided to speak out, he said.
With Ross’ help, he made a two-minute anti-bullying video that was shown to every class in school.
“(Michael) is just the nicest kid,” Ross said, adding the video was Biegel’s idea. “He’s one of nicest, kindest students we have.”
Hanover has anti-bullying guidelines in place, but never to Ross’ knowledge has a student come up with a project like Biegel’s.
“It’s a first for me,” Ross said.
Biegel was recently honored by the Hanover Board of School Trustees and Superintendent Thomas Taylor during a School Board meeting. He was presented with a commendation, and his video was played.
In the video, Biegel quoted national statistics on bullying and related a case in which a bullied student eventually committed suicide.
Biegel said he’d be delighted if his video ended up reducing the number of bullying incidents at Hanover Middle School. The best outcome would be if “no one got bullied.”
Meanwhile, Biegel continues to pursue his dreams “so I can prove all these bullies wrong.”