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Whiz Kid: Justin Bachman Brings Tolerance to Solon

Bachman, who suffers from Tourette's syndrome, turned a difficult personal experience at a cross country meet into an educational opportunity for all of Solon

Whiz Kid of the Week: Justin Bachman 

Age: 13

School: Solon Middle School

Accomplishment: Worked with the city of Solon to put together a Tolerance Fair scheduled for March 13 at the .

Key to Awesomeness:  Many Solon residents know what happened to Justin at a cross country meet in Boardman. He has Tourette's syndrome, and sometimes has loud, vocal tics. Here's a quick recap from the Plain Dealer:

At a cross-country meet in Boardman on Sept. 18, two adult officials were explaining the rules at the start of the race when Justin started yelling, "Woo, woo." The officials told him repeatedly to shut up, even after Justin explained that he had Tourette's syndrome. The officials took his number and threatened to disqualify him.

Justin's teammates came to his defense. When the officials wouldn't listen, the kids ran and told their parents.

Justin did not let the experience bring him down. Instead, he went to City Hall, met with Solon Mayor Susan Drucker and hatched an idea. Together, the Bachman family and the city have put together a Tolerance Fair on March 13 at the Solon Community Center.

"He fully knows the value in tolerating and accepting the differences of others," Drucker said of Justin. "That is what Solon is about. It's when people take the initiative and step up and do something positive."

Justin will host the event, and the city of Solon will co-host it, Drucker said.

The fair, which will feature tolerance speaker Marc Elliott, will provide a forum to help people understand differences and accept others and provide a way for residents to find organizations that give back and make a difference in the community.

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