Male Athletes Against Violence release ‘Hands Are Not for Hitting’ videos

The University of Maine’s Male Athletes Against Violence group released videos of members reading the children’s book “Hands Are Not for Hitting,” and are making them available to local elementary schools.

The 2009 book, written by psychologist Martine Agassi and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen, teaches children that violence is never OK, and how to manage anger and other strong emotions. UMaine athletes usually visit schools to read the book to children in-person, but opted to provide the videos this year due to the pandemic.

“I have to stress how unique it is to see guys like this reading a children’s book with an anti-violence message,” says professor of family relations and human sexuality Sandra Caron, MAAV faculty advisor.

Children look to adults as role models, and Caron says UMaine’s student athletes are excellent role models.

Videos from UMaine student athletes Dawson Bruneski, a hockey player, Matt Pushard, a baseball player, and Kenny Doak, David Gelb and Justin Sambu, all football players, are posted on the MAAV website.