Last night we showed a documentary film at the library called Bully. It was both harrowing and deeply moving to watch. It showcased five different families struggling with a child being severely bullied by schoolmates, in two cases to the point of suicide. In one particularly devastating scene, the parents of an eleven year-old boy bullied to suicide explain to their interviewer that they had complained to both the school and the police many times but no action was ever taken. The stricken father says, “We’re just nobodies so nothing changes. If our son were the son of a politician, you know things would change.” But that same father and mother, Kirk and Laura Smalley, decided to be somebody and stand up for their son by assisting a grass-roots organization called Stand for the Silent that was started started in 2010 by a group of students from Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City Upward Bound Chapter after they heard the story of Kirk and Laura Smalley’s son, Ty Field-Smalley. At eleven years-old, Ty took his own life after being suspended from school for retaliating against a bully that had been bullying him for over two years. Since May 2010, Kirk and Laura Smalley have traveled to hundreds of schools on behalf of SFTS.org and spoken with more than 600,000 kids. They have assembled several YouTube videos about the work they are doing to encourage kids to stop the bullying.
I encourage parents and teachers to borrow this important film from the library and watch it with their kids. If you are so moved, Stand for the Silent by friending them on Facebook, and by donating to the effort they are making to stop the bullying in our schools.
Here is a wonderful video, Shane Koyczan, for the bullied and the beautiful about being bullied.
Stand for the Silent: Bullying in America’s Schools