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High School Musical’s Coach Bolton Reveals A Genius Way He Combated Bullying Growing Up

Actor Bart Johnson gets candid on Instagram

While bullying wasn't a major factor in the High School Musical trilogy, it's unfortunately a big part of over 3 million kids' lives every year — and Coach Jack Bolton's teenage years were no exception.

In honor of today's Throwback Thursday (September 22), Bart Johnson, best known for playing Zac Efron's dad in the HSM films, shared a cute pic of himself when he was younger on Instagram, along with an important message about bullying.

In the lengthy caption, Johnson candidly explains how at 14, he was beat up all the time after he moved from L.A. to Heber City, Utah (just 45 miles from HSM's East High School in nearby Salt Lake City) by his school's "red neck bullies and hillbillies." He admits he laughs about it today, but he was also laughing about it while it was happening. It's a peculiar response; laughter doesn't tend to be associated with bullying, but that's what he did.

Johnson explained this behavior "is probably why I always say in times of struggle, 'you'll look back on this one day and laugh... so why wait!?'" Definitely easier said than done, but it's an insightful message for anyone going through tough times right now and important to remember. Johnson did eventually make friends at his new school and is still pals with them today.

On an unrelated note, Johnson's ~iconic~ hairstyle — which was inspired by Depeche Mode — reminds me of a hilarious childhood photo of young Efron. Like father, like son.