A Charlottesville nonprofit is recognizing an Albemarle County teenager for standing up to bullying. The Community Public Charter School student received the first kid hero award Tuesday afternoon.
Teachers describe 13-year-old Eddie Deane as "mister tough guy". He was the victim of a bully a few years ago, fought him, and got in trouble. Now, the eighth grader is helping other victims stand up without putting their fists up.
That's what earned Eddie the first ever Nancy Coates Walker Kid Hero Award from the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA). The award's namesake herself presented the certificate to Eddie Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by his parents and teachers.
Eddie's teachers nominated him after he pulled aside a classmate he had seen being bullied and gave him advice to fight back without violence.
"Just keep your head up and try," he said. "There's going to be problems in life. You can't expect not to have any problems, because eventually you're going to run into a problem and you're not going to know what to do."
Walker said, "Being an upstander - or intervening safely in a situation - is a very positive way to handle things, and Eddie showed empathy for this child in the face of some real adversity himself."
Along with the award, Eddie will also receive a scholarship to basketball camp at Tandem Friends School this summer.
The award is named for SARA's Child Educator Nancy Coates Walker. She teaches classes in city schools to encourage kids to not be bystanders, but "upstanders".