RUPERT, WV (WOAY) – Students at Western Greenbrier Middle School got a visit from the caped crusader. Batman spoke to the middle schoolers about the importance of mental health.
The man behind the mask is John Buckland. He says he’s faced many struggles in life, including abuse, bullying, and even issues with suicide.
He now spends his time as the founder of Heroes 4 Hire, where he teaches children valuable life lessons.
“Right now we have a mental health epidemic with the youth,” Buckland said. “With all the noise in the world, my job is to empower these youth through the difficult things they face. So I’m here to teach them coping skills.”
Buckland visits students of all ages, but for middle school and older, he takes off the mask and gets into the serious issues of mental health. According to him, it’s something that people may not like to talk about, but students everywhere are struggling with mental health every day.
He likes to leave the students with an important message: following four key principles.
“Four Principles: Never give up, always do the right thing, help other people, never be a bully. It’s designed in one mission statement: If I can change the way people view their tough situation, I can empower them to overcome it.”
Buckland started Heroes 4 Hire 12 years ago. Before that, he had dealt with an abusive childhood, rough times in school, and he even went to federal prison. According to him, he wants to share his life story with the kids so they can understand that they are not alone in their struggles and always have a chance to turn things around.
“Even though we go through tough things in life, and even though the world is noisy around us, we can still take the tough situations in our life and do something positive with them. And that’s what I’m here to teach them to do.”
Any schools in the area looking to have Buckland come to their school can visit wvbat.com for more information.