Before hundreds of squealing kids at East Terrell Hills Elementary School on Thursday, Lucha Libre pro wrestlers put on a little show by flipping each other over and pinning each other on a blue mat.
But with their fun antics, they also imparted a serious message: Do not bully.
“If you’re one of the bullies, you need to stop,” heavyweight champion luchador RJ Brewer told the children.
And if you are being bullied, he said, tell someone you trust, and don’t let it bring you down.
He pointed out that fellow larger-than-life luchadores standing before the kids, Mini Park and Lizmark Jr., in full masked warrior costumes, were once bullied as kids.
“That’s like, ‘Wow, it happens to a lot of people,’” East Terrell Hills Principal Tina Reck said. “I don’t think they probably hear it from somebody like that. I think it’s really powerful.”
The appearance by the three Lucha Libre stars before some 650 children at the Northeast Side school precedes Lucha Libre USA’s Masked Warriors tour stop in San Antonio on April 28. Each child was promised a free ticket to the Alamodome show.
Mini Park, in his head-to-toe skeleton costume, and Lizmark Jr. in his red, black and silver face mask, spoke in Spanish with the children against bullying.
Then the two took turns flexing their muscles and comparing them, prompting the children to burst into giggles.
With the kids chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!” the luchadores demonstrated the wrestling style that started in Mexico and has spread to U.S. cities with large populations of Latinos.
Their message appeared to penetrate.
“We learned that you can’t bully because you can hurt somebody,” said 7-year-old Jeffrey Silva, a second-grader.
First-grader Hayden Daniels, 6, agreed.
“It’s mean to bully because it hurts other people’s feelings,” she said.
The luchadores visit many schools as part of their tours; in fact, they spread their anti-bulling message last May at De Zavala Elementary on the West Side.
The school visits fit in well with the tour, Lucha Libre publicist Cathy Cardenas said.
“It’s so family oriented,” she said. “It’s very clean.”