FAIRLEA, WV (WOAY) – Batman the Caped Crusader dropped by Eastern Greenbrier Middle School to share life lessons about the struggles an adolescent might face, including issues with drugs, abuse and even suicide.
John Buckland has been dressing as Batman and visiting schools since 2012, when he started Heroes 4 Higher. Dressed as a hero, he’s visited more than 800 schools to empower youth to overcome drugs, bullying, depression and any other struggles they may face.
He says kids today are facing many personal issues, and he wants his inspirational talks to let kids know that they aren’t alone.
“Kids have been rocked by this whole COVID thing this past year, but even before that, we had 3,000 youth everyday attempting suicide,” Buckland said. “Now we’re easily over 4,000 a day attempting to take their lives.”
Buckland personally went through many struggles as a child, including problems with abuse, a broken home, bullying and suicide attempts. Years later he served as a firefighter in Iraq, and since returning home he’s been doing what he can to help children in need.
“I’m here to share my life story with these kids so they can understand that just because life might be temporarily broken in some way, it doesn’t mean they have to be permanently smashed.”
When Buckland visits a school, he teaches four principals: Never give up, always do the right thing, help other people and never be a bully. He wants the students to know that no matter their situation, they can always turn out on top.
Any schools in the area looking to have Buckland come to their school can visit wvbat.com for more information.
Buckland has also written a youth empowerment book called Broken Toy Hero. It’s been used by various school districts and sheriff offices to teach kids about personal life development. More information on his book can be found at BTWV.us