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Football and bullying

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The high school football players who put in 3-hour daily practice sessions on the North Plainfield High School field in New Jersey are focused on perfecting the game. But their parents and community leaders are keeping a close eye on alleged bullying in the National Football League and taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen here.

The freshman football team is looking great this season with a 7-1 record. The mother of No. 70, Jesse Knight, says the game has helped her son in many ways. She feels it should not be blamed for a problem that's bigger than any sport.

Not far from the high school, I caught up with Dewayne Riggins at Maximum Athletics. He trains NFL players like Bart Scott and Antonio Cromartie and also is co-founder of a foundation called Friends Against Bullying because of a childhood trauma that has left scars to this day. He says anyone can be bullied, regardless of their size or profession, and that the parents of students he trains believe the sport of football is not to blame.

Both the mom we spoke with and the trainer say the most important safeguard against bullying is to keep the lines of communication open, and let your children know they can talk with you about anything.

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