TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Olympic champion and WWE pro wrestler Mark Henry visited an East Texas high school Friday, joining a nationwide effort to end school bullying.
Henry addressed students Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler as a part of the USA Network's "Characters Unite Storytelling Tour."
"[Bullying] happens every day, it happened this morning, it'll happen tomorrow," Henry said. "It's just a matter of the people around the bullying saying, 'hey man, don't do that, it's not cool."
Henry surprised many students with his connection to school-age bullying.
"It's fun to be able to go to a high school and talk to kids about bullying and tell them my story, how I was bullied and how I dealt with it," Henry said. "It's just an amazing thing to see kids grasp it and want this [anti-bullying] program in their school."
Twelve students were selected to share their personal stories of bullying and discrimination on the stage with Henry.
Senior Storey Holcomb said Henry's story came as a shock.
"I was surprised when he told us that he was bullied for his size when he was in high school," said Holcomb. "You learn to listen to people's stories."
"It was interesting to hear about his humble upbringing and his background," said high school senior Stratton Hibbs. "Things that you wouldn't otherwise expect from such a large, powerful, daunting man."
Henry said the biggest misconception about bullying is that it does not happen.
"What I want people to walk away with is that you have to show some tolerance and you have to respect people," Henry said. "If you respect humanity, you will respect yourself."
Tyler officials said the USA network's filming of the "Characters Unite" program is ongoing and may be completed in the next few months. Friday's presentation will also air on the Tyler ISD local channel.