Seda Batmanian, a counselor at Chamlian Armenian School, knows her students, and her students know basketball. So when she started talking about Miami Heat forward LeBron James and his first game back in Cleveland, where he would face his former Cavalier teammates, their attention was piqued.
Cavalier fans donned T-shirts with angry messages printed on them and booed their former hero, Batmanian recalled. But one Cavalier player, Antawn Jamison, walked across the court and shook James' hand.
"I was so impressed by that," Batmanian said. "What the other adults were doing was not kind."
It was the type of anecdote that Batmanian loves to share with her students as part of Chamlian Armenian School's character class, a program designed to teach good citizenship and social responsibility. The character class was founded more than a decade ago but has taken on renewed significance in the wake of several serious school bullying incidents across the country, Batmanian said.