MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Scott Hertzig works to instill respect, discipline and confidence in all of his students at ATA Martial Arts in Manhattan, where he is head instructor.
Hertzig, a fourth degree black belt, says those same values play a part in a bully prevention program called "Agent G" he’s using at local schools.
"Agent G is kind of like a super hero character that brings to life certain situations that could present themselves in a bully type of situation. The great thing about the program is that it gets them involved and it gets them interacting with their peers and gives them a chance to rehearse in the event that they are approached or confronted with a bully type of situation," he told WIBW.
In the six schools he’s partnered with, Hertzig visits every classroom once a month at every grade level, impacting more than 2,000 students with the program.
"It gives the kids an opportunity to recognize what it is and brings to their attention how to stop bullying before it starts and recognizing red zones and yellow zones where you’re most likely to run into a bully type of situation and where you’re safer- for example, with adult supervision," he said. "
"I’ve been the head instructor at the school for quite some time now and so I deal with multiple families that have multiple kids. Looking at statistics and know that one in three kids are bullied and just knowing that several of the kids I have in here that have brothers and sisters are confronted with that kind of a situation, it’s very scary. When I was little, I was bullied too which is why I’m in martial arts. It’s a great way to give back to them and empower the kids to make a difference in their schools. That’s the most important thing," Hertzig added.
For him, it's an ongoing effort to change the climate in schools and help keep kids safe.