Colbert students hear emotional anti-bullying message

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

COLBERT, OKLAHOMA -- "I'm going to tell you about what happened to Ty. I'm really just hoping that you guys can help me make sure that this doesn't happen to another kid," Kirk Smalley said.

Oklahoman Kirk Smalley says he's not a public speaker, but through his Stand For The Silent campaign, he's spoken to more than 20,000 students, met President Obama., the First Lady and Lady Gaga.

"I think maybe it's time that we all learn respect for others, tolerance for differences and how to be the difference in somebody else's life," Smalley said.

Today, he took his message to Colbert High School.

"It's actually the international sign language symbol for 'I love you,'" Smalley said.

Kirk Smalley's son, Ty, was 11 years-old when he shot himself in his home after being bullied at school in 2010.

Since then, Kirk Smalley has met with 250 families across America who have suffered the same tragedy.

"Man, I got a list of over 800 kids that have killed ths emselves because of being bullied. And guys, that's just the ones I know about," Smalley said.

Smalley says every 7 seconds, a kid is bullied in some way, and one in four kids will consider suicide before graduating high school.

He says the only people who can turn that statistic around is kids themselves.

"Looking from the stage out, I saw a lot of people crying, a lot of people not realizing the impact bullying is having on lives," Stand For The Silent supporter Paige Jackson said.

"I have been bullied at previous schools and I know how it feels. I still have it being replayed in my mind, the exact words that somebody said to me, and it's hard," Stand For The Silent supporter Adonica Onstott said.

For more information, visit http://www.standforthesilent.org/


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