Bully me? No way!

Emmanuel Hawkins, a miracle baby born in November 2004, and grandmother Nonnie Hawkins, are the authors of comic book Bully Me? No Way! Photo by R. Scott Belzer

Miracle baby passes along anti-bullying message to Freedom Middle School at 13

When pregnant 18 year-old Georgia Perimeter College freshman Tara Hawkins-Bottoms fell into a four-month coma after being attacked in November 2003, doctors had little hope for the baby she carried.

Now, 14 years later, Emmanuel Hawkins—a baby delivered 11 weeks early while Hawkins-Bottoms was in a coma—uses adversity and his mother’s story as a vehicle for change.

Hawkins, with grandmother Nonnie Hawkins, is the author of Bully Me? No Way!, a comic book focused on his mother as well as anti-bullying. Hawkins stopped by Freedom Middle School on Sept. 28 as part of a 21-school tour encouraging students to take a stand against bullying.

Bully Me? No Way illustrates to students they are perfect just the way they are, no matter their skin tone, quality of attire, shape, size, height or mental temperament. It also encourages students to tell someone if they see bullying anywhere—not just on campus.

The event included Hawkins’ story, his appearance as the comic’s main character, Super Love Boy, as well as giveaways to students. Students in the audience received such gifts as 10-speed bicycles, computer tablets, headphones, school supplies and more supplied by local businesses.

“I was sad to hear about what happened to my mom,” Emmanuel told students. “I want to educate kids so they have the power to take a stand against bullying. I don’t want anyone else to die.”

Emmanuel said he’s excited a comic book he made can help students.

“When the bully hurt [Emmanuel’s] mom, it hurt him, too,” said Nonnie Hawkins. “He was born very, very early so he’s still practicing speech and making his voice heard.”

Nonnie said she hopes the presentation inspired students to love.

“You have to start with self love, you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else,” she said. “Tell yourself that you love yourself every day—that’s where it starts. You may not like the way another person looks or what they wear, but because you have love, you can respect that person. The more kindness, respect and forgiveness you give, the more you receive.”

Last year, Freedom Middle took part in a similar anti-bullying campaign called No Place for Hate, school officials said.

“It is imperative that we at Freedom Middle School have a safe school so that students have a better opportunity for success,” said Freedom principal Marchell Boston. “Today, we are kicking off one of many anti-bullying events.”

For more information, visit www.bullymenoway.com.

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