MMA fighter's message about bullying goes viral: 'Please step up'

Kerry Justich
This viral Instagram post is reminding kids to be kind as they go back to school. (Photo: Instagram)
This viral Instagram post is reminding kids to be kind as they go back to school. (Photo: Instagram)

A message about kindness is going viral on Instagram, reminding kids heading back to school to stand up to bullies and make a difference in another student’s life by being nice.

The sweet sentiment seemingly originated on Joe Schilling’s Instagram account on Monday evening, where the MMA fighter posted a typed out note with the caption, “Being nice is cool.”

In it, the note provided a “special request” to those returning to school.

“If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/she doesn’t have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most ‘in’ clothes — PLEASE step up,” the post reads. “Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway.”

Schilling went on to explain that “you never know what that person might be facing outside of school,” before writing, “Repost if you agree.”

Hours later, the post has been seen across a number of Instagram pages and stories, including Chris Pratt, Joe Rogan, Ashley Graham and Mario Dedivanovic.

Hundreds of people have also commented on Schilling’s post, sharing their appreciation for the martial artist and his empowering message.

“As a teacher, I appreciate this post,” one person commented. “This is what I tell my students the whole first month of school. I also let them know that my doors are open during recess and lunch for them to have a quiet place to sit and relax.”

Another wrote, “Excellent post Brother! Im having my daughter who admires you read this when she gets home today. Thank you.”

Schilling also re-posted a video to his Instagram story of a young child performing an act of kindness at school after reading Schiller’s encouraging words.

“Best thing to teach kids is kindness,” a follower concluded.

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