Friday, March 16, 2012

Stand For The Silent - A Powerful Anti-Bullying School Presentation

Featured in the upcoming movie BULLY, Ty Smalley was 11 when, after years of being picked on and bullied, he finally had enough and physically reacted to his bully's taunts.  Ty was caught for 'fighting'.  Suspended from school.  And he killed himself.

Ty Smalley

Ty's parents Kirk and Laura have made it their mission to stop this epidemic of bullying, and they're taking action through STAND FOR THE SILENT.

I was fortunate to attend Kirk's assembly program at a Los Angeles Middle School this week.  It was powerful, and wrenching.

Kirk had the kids on his side, supporting him as he told the story of his son, and of other children like Ty who took their own lives because of bullying.

He asked for a show of hands, who there had ever been bullied.  Every single person raised their hand.

He asked for another show of hands, who there had even been a bully.  Four hands went up.

He told us that every seven seconds, someone is bullied in our world.

There's work to do.

And then, he got the entire auditorium of 800 plus students to take this pledge out loud:

"From this day forward I promise to respect those around me as well as respect myself.  I am somebody, and I can make a difference.  I can make another feel loved.  I can be the helping hand that leads another back to a path of hope and aspiration.  I will not stand silent as others try to spread hatred through my community.  Instead, I pledge to lift up these victims, and show them that their life matters.  I will be the change, because I am somebody."

It was such a powerful moment.

Kirk spoke with passion and deep emotion, and I cheer him on.  We need all our voices raised to empower children and teens to stop bullying and make their world - our world - better.

Here's a CNN story on Kirk - and in it you can see how raw and honest he's able to be about his loss, and the promise he made to his son on the Father's Day after Ty's death, that he'd stop this from happening to another child.

So let's do it. Let's stand with Kirk. And let's Stand For The Silent.

Let's each of us do everything we can to end bullying.



Unknown said...

Bullying has to stop!! Adults even do it. Too many children are killing themselves. It does get better and it saddens me that they don't get the chance to find that out. So sad...

Anonymous said...

Your right bullying has to STOP...Kirk Smalley came to my school today and just by the way he spoke made me and my friends feel heartbroken. Bullying is a big thing in the world today and i don`t see why people do that...theres no point and we have to make a stand and fight back. We`re not going to sit around and watch childern and teenagers kill themselves because of bullying. i took the pledge and i`m keeping it. i am somebody and no one and i mean no one can take that away from me or anyone else in the world!I AM SOMEBODY!