Martial arts teacher supports La Crosse anchorwoman's anti-bullying message

Martial arts teacher supports La Crosse anchorwoman's anti-bullying message

By Charles Benson. CREATED Oct 2, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Tonight the entire country is talking about a western Wisconsin news anchor targeted by a viewer about her weight.

Jennifer Livingston went on TV in La Crosse to read an e-mail:

"Surely you don't consider yourself a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular.  Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain."

Then Livingston responded during a 4-minute segment on WKBT-TV:

"First, the truth is, I am overweight, even obese on a doctor's chart. But to the person who wrote me that email do you think I don't know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don't see."

Bullying is a big issue in schools and in cyberspace.  Livingston says she was standing up to bullies, but was she bullied?

"I really love what she did," said Chan Lee.  He runs a martial arts school and an anti-bulling website.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson asked Lee to watch Jennifer Livingston's now viral video.

"Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies," Livingston told her viewers.

Lee believes the La Crosse anchorwoman was bullied.

"I think it's a very powerful message for all people who are dealing with some type or forms of bullying," says Lee.

Opinions varied on the TODAY'S TMJ4's Facebook page.  Lauren wrote: "You go girl! Don't let haters get to you!" Marsha said: "That's not bullying. It's a rude comment but not bullying."

"We are better than the bullies that would try to take us down," Livingston said in her on air response.

Lee teaches kids self-defense but he tells them the best self-defense against a bully is "kindness."
"You have to go out and assertively say, 'you know what you may think that I'm overweight or fat but guess what, I'm still a person that is very confident and believes in myself and your words don't mean anything to me.'"

Livingston will be on the "TODAY Show" Wednesday morning.


Charles Benson

Charles Benson

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Charles Benson is one of the most reliable, trusted and experienced reporters in southeast Wisconsin. If there's a big story going on, Charles is usually there leading the way.