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HomeHealth & BehaviorBullying

Standing up for his son

Eleven-year-old Ty Field-Smalley took his life after being harassed at school. Ever since, his father has made it his mission to fight bullying.

Ty Field-Smalley

By Leslie Crawford

On a Thursday afternoon in May 2010, shortly after his mother dropped him off at home from school, Ty Field-Smalley, who was 11 years old, took his own life. He was only a week away from completing sixth grade. "We buried Ty May 17, 2010," says Kirk Smalley of his son, who had been relentlessly bullied by the same boy at school for two years.

Ty's bully ended up serving only one day of his three-day suspension, the first and only time he was punished by the school for harassing Ty.

The following Monday, after Ty had committed suicide, the bully "went up to a little girl and said that Ty died because of her," Smalley says. "Then she tried to go home and kill herself. The first day of school this year, the year after Ty died, the same little boy walked up to my son's best friend and said, 'I took care of one of you. Now let me see what I can do about you.'"

"Ty died 503 days ago."

Not only is Ty's father counting every day since he lost his son, but he has devoted himself to working for Stand for the Silent, a non-profit anti-bullying organization created by students in honor of Ty. "I'll fight bullying wherever it's found," Smalley has vowed. "Schools. Workplace. I’m not going to quit until bullying does." Since Ty's death, Smalley, who is from the small town of Perkins, OK, has spoken at more than 100 schools and addressed well over 100,000 children. He teaches the life-and-death consequences of bullying with testimonials, videos, and role-playing activities.

He's determined to save other children from such an unthinkable fate, and spare their parents such unimaginable misery. "If his mother, Laura, or I had any notion Ty would have done what he'd done, we would have done anything necessary to save him," Smalley says. He and his wife did what they could, including "constantly" going to administrators, begging them to do something to help Ty — to no avail. "Laura says she would have yanked him out of school. But this is a tough one. You can't run away from bullies all your life — there are bullies everywhere you go. Let's pull the bully out of school."

School policies victimize the victims

"We taught Ty to stick up for himself,” Smalley says, “but he never would. He was the smallest guy there was, but he'd stick up for other kids. There was another little kid, an American-Indian boy, who got picked on a lot. Ty would stick up for him and so the bigger boys would beat Ty up and leave the boy alone."

Finally, Ty had enough and he stood up for himself. He fought back, and when he did  both he and his bully were meted out the same punishment: suspension from school. This common practice, called a "no-tolerance" or "zero-tolerance" policy — which holds any child who is involved in an altercation responsible — sends the wrong message to a bully's victim, says Smalley. "Don't suspend children for being victims."

Ty was crushed by the suspension, says Smalley. The first time he ever defended himself, he was punished. Hours later, Ty took his life. "If someone on the street comes and jumps at you, you have to protect yourself. It's ridiculous that the schools don't have to follow the same rules and laws that our society does,” Smalley says.

Never hold the victim responsible for being bullied, he says. "They should tell the child, 'You'll be protected,'" not ask, as Smalley says the principal did at Ty's school, 'What did he do to get picked on?' That happens a lot," adds Smalley, who is adamant about not bringing the bully and victim together to resolve the problem, another regular practice at schools.

"Now the victim has to confront his tormentor face-to-face. That's so hard for a child to do. First, they are terrified. They know if they tell what's really happening, what's really going on, the bully will catch him in the playground and he'll pay the price. So the victim goes into the office and lies and says, 'He was just teasing me.' Bullies are smart. They get [grown-ups] to believe it’s the victim's fault.”

Making bullies’ parents accountable

More than the bullies, who Smalley points out are children themselves, he believes their parents should be held most accountable. "A bully's parents tend to be bullies," says Smalley, who adds that he's never met the bully's parents, nor have they ever approached him to talk or apologize — even after Ty died.

"Policies on bullying don't work," Smalley says. "Those are just pieces of paper, and if you ask a school about their bully policy, most schools don't even know if they have one. We need legislation that holds parent accountable for their kid's actions, that gives the schools an out if a child is being bullied so you can tell a bully's parents, 'You have two weeks to make a change in that kid's behavior.' If that doesn't change, you give [the parents] a warning. Then you fine them. If it's the fourth or fifth instance, they maybe you send [the parents] to jail for a few days."

Smalley, who with his wife Laura appears in Bully, a documentary to be released in March of 2012 (read our review of Bully), comes across as a calm and dignified, but grief-stricken, father who is not out for revenge or retribution — he isn't suing the school district or the bullies’ parents — but is steadfast in his crusade to fight the negligance, cruelty, and destructive rationalizations that perpetuate a culture of bullying.

“We got the answer that boys will be boys, that bullying is just a childhood rite-of-passage. That's not true. It's that way only because we allow it to be that way."

is a senior editor at GreatSchools.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

07/9/2012:
"I totally agree with the father in the article some body needs to be held accountable. Our children should not have to die for going to school. "
07/9/2012:
"Heart-breaking ...bullying is a seirious thing. and think about, how many times have you gotten bullied, now think of how many times you have been the bully. even if you just called someone stupid or even say somthing stupid out of the top of your head...it still hurts someone"s heart, it can also mess with there actions. "
07/3/2012:
"I am so sorry to hear of this. I was bullied as a child and have 3 boys of my own now. I have let them read your article and they to feel bad for you, your son and the rest of your family. I do agree with you, its a feeling you never want to feel. If that child is talking like that, then what is he watching at home on TV or parents?. Bad behavior is learned not born.Teach our children everyone has feelings and some get hurt easier than others. "
07/3/2012:
"so true mean and hard to deal with "
07/2/2012:
"My child is going to the 8th grade this year and i am feverishly seeking a new school for him because of bullying. He is mild to moderate , very high functioning autistic. He is a great boy, who is a firm believer in GOD and he believes that all people are naturally good. Even with this disposition however, he has been targeted for the last three school years by bullies of all different colors, shapes, and sizes. I am a very hands on parent who has tried everything from talking to administrators, talking to parents, talking directly to the bullies. my suggestion to all parents with children that are being bullied in the school system is to go to the police. then and only then will the school, your own child, the bullies and their parents know how severe the situation is and that you are not willing to stand for it. "
06/25/2012:
"I totally agree with Mr. Smalley and would like to know how I can be part of Stand For the Silent? Im very sorry for his lost. That is a very touching story. I am a single parent of two boys and my oldest son was bullied in middle school and part of high school and this lead to him getting into a lot of trouble. We are African American and my son was being called "nigger". This is discrimination which is also a form of bullying. I was always at the school trying to solve things but I always felt the bully came out on top. I never was able to meet with the parents (against school policy-they said), my son would get the same punishment as the bully, and things continued. My son would say " Im really trying to ignore them." but he would end up fighting with them. It was horrible and I felt the school did nothing to solve the problem. The "zero-tolerance" policy is not for the real victims. Mr. Smalley is also correct when he says usually the parents are bullies ! too. This is where the child's behavior comes from. Still to this day my son is angry all the time and feels people don't like him or are against him and is depressed alot. He was attending counseling but is 18 now and feels he does not need it. I think the bullying issue has had an effect on him but I'm hoping and praying that he will grow away from feeling this way. I am so against bullying because my mother and family were teased and bullied when they were young because they were poor and didn't have much. So I was taught (and my kids were taught) not to be a bully or make fun of people. Many parents do not teach their kids this. Hopefully, the Bullying Act will go in effect soon all over the country and things will change in the schools as well as in the workplace. "
06/7/2012:
"We are new to this area and was in the process of looking into schools for my son who is going into the 8th grade. He has been homeschooled and is not socially awkward but I think public school will be a shock. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what schools around here are good, safe schools. Thank you "
06/5/2012:
"I am so sorry for you loss. I commend you on working to change the way bullying is dealt with in our school systems. My son starts kindergarten in the fall. While he is very intelligent for his age, he is a little awkward socially. I worry he will be an easy target for bullies. I am going to enroll him in Tae-kwon-do. I think it is important for him to gain the self confidence and discipline martial arts has to offer. I read a comment on here about a woman who ran across this article researching home schooling options because her child was bullied at school. The bullies parents should be the ones researching alternative school options, not the victims family. School administrators, teachers, and faculty KNOW the children who are bullies. Their reputation often precedes them. How many children have to suffer before we expel the bully? When is enough? Instead of putting blinders on, the people we trust to educate our children should start asking questions. Parents are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their child. I don't think that putting the bulk of the blame on parents is always fair. Sometimes, fairness is overrated. Schools should send the message that there is zero tolerance for bullying. You bully, your a** gets shipped to an alternative school. Of course, its not always black and white, but their needs to be some fear instilled in these kids. After the first couple of kids get plucked out of the school, perhaps the message will be clear. "
05/30/2012:
"im sorry for your lost...my personal opinion is that both parents and bullys should be punish for there actions as parents we have the responsabilities to thought our children to respect others "
05/24/2012:
"I am so sorry to hear about your loss and the circumstances surrounding your loss. We need to figure out a way to effectively deal with the school system and then the bullies. If the school system will do their job in keeping kids safe this would not be such a huge problem. My son transferred to another school and has been bullied ever since, we are black and the kids are white and if you let the principal tell it the kids come from good families. Kids from good families do not bully other kids, I'm sorry they just don't. "
05/21/2012:
"imgoing thru almost the same thing with my daughters school she finally stood up for herdelf against a bully she got suspended lost her 8 th grade dance and when i went to prsecute the girl foe asult they said they couldnt do anything about based on the information they had. my daughter went to the pricnicpal on more than one ocassions for it to stop then finally when the fight happen i had to call the police. well the police was no help either they said my daughter should have walked away well she was doing that for a very long time now im in the process of taking it a step futher. its sad any one would have to go thru something like this and when someone gets fed up and tired they take their own life thats when the school and police wants to pay attention. "
05/2/2012:
"This article is so true. School authorities do not recognize bullying for what is really is. The victims are persecuted and the bullies get a day off (back the next day). I think the parents of these kids should be held accountable and the school sued if they allow credible harassing to continue. I applaud the writer for telling his son to defend himself and teach mine the same. This mixed message from the educators is the reason why good kids feel that guns or suicide are the only options. Laws need to be put into place to fix this toxic problem. "
05/2/2012:
"These parents have the right idea. My son is bullied everyday at school. They will do nothing about it. There have been two lives lost in the past two years in the school district we are in. "
05/1/2012:
"Talk to the parents of the bully, find out what is going on in this childs life, that makes him or her a bully.There is always a reason why kids act this way. "
05/1/2012:
"I watched my son suffer thru bullying when he was in a middle school. shop class. He was a shy child and the perfect victim for "these" kids that need to put other kids down to make themselves feel better. After going to the school several times, we too found out that the victim was blamed more than the bully or bullies. I was even told it was older kids, kidding around with a younger kid. Really! No it went way beyond that. I worked in an educational setting for 10 years as a special education paraprofessional and saw many teacher & administrators just look away and pretend that bullying was not happening in the school. I too do not understand this and have addressed this with the students responsible several times. As adults we should ask ourselves, "Would you want to go to work everyday if there was someone that was making your time there unbearable?" It's an easy answer for me. Why should our children suffer the same fate. Let's do something about it! "
05/1/2012:
"If you send the parent to jail for the kid's behavior, once again, the bully feels successful because he has gotten away with it and someone else has taken his punishment. This is not right and will not work. We need to be able to kick the bully out of school, then he will feel the consequences of his behavior. Make him pay, not others. "
05/1/2012:
"The teachers should only punish the bully and what about the bullys parents? The teachers should be talking to them. the bully is bullying for a reason. "
04/30/2012:
"it does need to be stopped and i agree it should start with the parents of the child who is bullying its disgusting to read about how many children take their lives due to being bullied so its time legislation takes this seriously n does something "
04/30/2012:
"Every school should begin the school year with a program in the gym talking about bullying and letting children know that it can lead to suicide. "
04/25/2012:
"Mr. and Mrs. Smalley, I'm so very sorry for your loss of Ty. As I read your story, tears were falling for you, and especially for what your son went through when he was bullied. Ty looks like such a sweet boy, and I can see my sons eyes in his. My son has always been good in school, kept his grades at mostly A's & B's, with an occasional C. He's always had wonderful comments from his teachers on how respectful, friendly and kind he is. The problem now, is that the beginning of this school yr. his attitude at home and at school changed, along with the downfall of his grades and 'smiles'. He used to have a smile on his face before he went to bed at night, and a smile when he woke up in the morning...very good natured!...well that smile diminished after the first few months of this school year, so I asked him what was wrong, he didn't tell me anything for quite awhile, then got tears in his eyes and admitted that he was being picked on in school by 2 boys. They were ca! lling him names, pushing him up against his locker and being extra rough with him outside at recess. I told his teachers and principal about it, and the bullying stopped for a few months, and my sons smile came back and his grades started going back up again! But a couple months ago his grades started dropping again as well as his attitude, and he didn't want to go on any field trips or even the camp outting scheduled for the end of this school year...I finally got it out of him that now several boys are harassing and bullying him again. Pushing him back and forth between each other and laughing, swearing names at him, and embarrassing him in the hall in front of others. I told the teacher and principal, and so far all they did was call the boys into the office and give them a warning. There are about 6 boys this time that were attacking him...and my husband said that maybe we should get the school police authorities involved to confront those boys, since they're putt! ing their hands on him forcefully. They are all going to be in! high school next year, so they're getting bigger and stronger. We're uneasy about what they could do to our son. We'll see what happens, we just found out about this last night. Our son said that he doesn't want to go on the 3- day camp outting because he's afraid of what those kids might do to him. So my husband and I are taking him on a 5-day vacation (to my son's surprise) to somewhere that he's going to go bananas over when we get there..something that he's VERY interested in...he'll love it...it's all for him. Now, I know that kids should have the opportunity to experience the camping trip with others in their school, but since he's afraid, hopefully the trip we take him on he'll enjoy much more, and he'll feel safe with us. We don't want to force him to go on a trip with kids that he's afraid of...that wouldn't be any fun for him, he'd just be looking over his shoulder the whole time. In this experience of trying to protect our son by contacting the school,! I found out that there are certain 'places' in the school that there are no cameras...these 'places' are the most dangerous in the school if any bully would really want to hurt someone bad. This needs to be changed, and I intend to address this with the authorities about the 'stupid' reality that these cameras are absent from some of the most threatening areas in the school, and remind them that they could never prove who committed a crime against another child without having camera footage in those areas. I am so angry about this, and utterly disgusted that the 'school' is so irresponsible and negligent in providing the necessary camera evidence if by chance an unfortunate injury would happen to one of our kids. Finally, in dealing with these bullies, they need to be reprimanded seriously by sending them to a boot camp for juvenile delinquents during their 'suspension' from school!! And NEVER should the victim be scrutinized, punished, be made to feel like they did so! mething to deserve this...and last if not least if anyone needs to move! out of the area, it's the bullys' family---not the victims' family!! My prayers and thoughts go out to all bully victims and their parents...God bless and keep you all safe. "
04/23/2012:
"Something needs to change with the US Education System. Homes are being destroyed by the dysfunctional behaviors our children are being subjected to in some schools. Having relocated out of my home state right before my 2 girls started elementary school and observing how hostile my new community was to 'outsiders', we quickly sold our house and moved back to my home state. Sometimes bullies and victims are set up by the school and community dynamics. This was the case for us in NW Indiana. We were neighbors to both victim and aggressor to a crime that made headline news nationally. Both boys were not from the area and relocated in. One tried to fit in by being the most aggressive (while his sister was shunned on a daily basis at school). The other (also relocated to the area) was shy and withdrawn. It took less than 3 months in the high school for the shy/withdrawn child to bring a machete to school and attack his neighbor permanently disfiguring him. He plead insa! nity and his family was able to bring him back to his home state. By the community that orchestrated this violence through their unfriendly and harsh welcome to newcomers was never highlighted or even remotely implicated in this violence. Both families blamed the other family. As a neighbor watching from the outside and experiencing the harsh welcome we received and hearing the gossip against both victim and perpetrator I can say without a doubt...that it was the school and community's fault for this tragedy. Although this crime occurred about 6-7 years ago, it changed our lives. "
04/16/2012:
"My daughter is in Kindergarten. She is having a low level bullying experience with another girl. I can't believe how much it affects her. Be an aware and involved parent. It really matters! "
03/26/2012:
"I almost killed myself as a child due to bullying. Now my son, who is socially awkward, is going through the same thing. He is only 7 now, but at the age of 5 he was already telling me that he, "should be killed." He is often sent home or suspended due to his reactions to bullies. He flips out when he is made fun of and ends up being the one that gets punished. The bullies are smart. They wisper in his ear so no one else can hear the things they say. They usually have other bullies with them as witnesses to their innocence and never hurt the victim i front of non-bullying peers. I do not believe a childs behavior is the parent's fault, however. I have two children and my 4 year old is a happy ray of sunshine even though she sometimes gets bullied. Some kids just have mental or social issues. Parents should not be held legally responsible for their child's actions since some parentsa do everything they can think of to changhe a kid's behavior yet nothing works. "
03/26/2012:
"I agree that parents of bullies indeed need to be and should be held very accountable and responsible for their children s behavior. When I was in kindergarten at Glen Oaks elementary school there was one bully names Butch who with his friends lay in wait and ambush me on my way home from school. This happened the whole school year. I never told my mother about this because I did not trust her to handle this properly. The following year Butch went on to pick on other kids and left me alone, however this remained with me all through my school years and and into my military career. Where I finally decided to do something about this. I got mentally strong, physically strong and I learned fear is only a state of mind and worked to over come this. After my initial three year contract with the Army was over I went back home to confront Butch face to face at his house. I found out he was no where to be found his mother said he was away and never comes home. Parents please band together to form a collation at your kids school to get the administration to not punish kids who fight back which I believe is very necessarily in order to stop being picked on. But also at a very young age or while in kindergarten enroll them into a judo class. This is a soft martial arts, and helps kids to learn how to use the bully's attacking energy to their own benefit. I say soft art because Karate, Kenpo and the like if taught by the wrong instructor kids can become without knowing it very harmful. Not always but ot does happen and the kids do no t mean to be, these martial discipline can lead to broken bones, and sprained joints to the bully and become a liability to you the parent. Judo is about throwing, blocking and redirecting the oppenents attacks away from the intended target child in this case and leads to subduing the bully in a non harmful way. NOW Judo can be used to break bones and joint locks but in the hands of young practitioners this is very unlikely. Tai Chi is another soft art to consider enrolling your kids into. "
03/6/2012:
"My grandson lives with me and is bullied everyday at school. I've tried talking to the school and nothing gets done to stop this. I could relate to your article so much with the exception of losing your son. I can't even imagine your pain and I'm so sorry for your loss. I agree with you on going to the parents of the bullies. It's time for someone to have to pay for these kids that do this. My grandson has been dealing with classroom bulling, had his bike stollen and was beat up by 2 boys on the playground after school on his way home. I'm scared to even let him go to school any more for fear something will happen to him and he won't come home. I'm pretty much ready to pull him out of the school or try to move to another area. We live in California, I was online trying to find some information on homeschooling when I came across your article. I couldn't leave the site without posting a comment after reading this. "
03/6/2012:
"Wow!!! Someone from this article needs to educate Sherman Oaks Elementary in Ca on Bullying. The principal makes the Victim meet with the Bully. She also has victim explain what happened and any one that has been bullied before knows that takes a lot of courage to speak up because it gets worse cause u told. Principal makes the victim write everything down on paper so the child is traumatized again. Principal wont take paper from parent on what child described. My child was not even old enough to write n describe in detail what happened. But why should she have to do this if she already reported it verbally. This school does not discipline bullies. My child is still in the same class with the bully. Many parents came forward with complaints of same bully to the point where bully has been physical but bully was not suspended no action was taken. But they have offered to switch the victim to another class or school. Unbelievable n sad that this is happening to innocent c! hildren... "
02/21/2012:
"i just read the articles and i know how this is. my son was administatively transferred to a different school 3 weeks ago. the bullying started right away. he used to get such good grades at the last school but one incident with him and a friend pushing each other around resulted in the friend getting hurt. they were only playing and are still friends to this day but because of it my son got transferred out. the school he is supposed to be in now is well known for gangs. one boy threatened to shoot him. that was it . he told me he is scared to go back and yes i dont want him to either. he was getting pushed around. he was told by everyone i talked too that he had to go back. when we tried to go to the school to talk about it he just broke down and cried. he wont name anyone because of being threatened if he told. i have talked to everyone i can and no help. they all say he has to go back. i am not sending him back and now i have to go to court for this. my next step and the ! only one i think i have left is to send him to stay with his uncle in another town.i dont want to send my baby that far away from me but i feel its my only option. he has two older sisters who also went to that school for a little while last year but for the same reasons , i had to transfer them out. it was the bullying. they were scared to go back. it was not an administrative thing with them tho so the transfer was easier to do. i am stuck on what options do i have. how can i send him back, i cant. i wish i rteally had someone to talk to and help me. i feel like i have nothing at all thats there for me to help my son be safe. sending him to his uncles to live for the school rest of the school year makes me very sad. he,s my baby. and then the courts involved, they say i could go to jail for not making him go. all i can say is HELP!!!. thanks for letting me write this and thanks for the articles. i dont feel as alone as i did before. "
02/21/2012:
"I am very sorry for the death of Ty Smalley.It is a shame for an innocent child to take his on life on count of a bully. It sounds as though this bully got off scott free. This bully only got one day of suspension and nothing else? The bully ,his parents, nor the school seemed to have learned anything from TY'S PAIN OR DEATH . I feel the school and the parents of this bully should be sued and put in a fund in the name of Ty Smalley in a campaign to "STOP BULLYING"......It seems to me this bully is still being able to go on with his life and thinking bullying is still a joke and bullying other kids at school now.I don't believe in law suits but I feel this is one that should be done if not for you then in the memory of your son Ty and other kids just like him.......Talk to your attorney its not too late yet.I think you have up to two years from the time this took place.... "
02/14/2012:
"HELP....!!!!!!!....my son was being bullied at school, 6th grade...he had enough, went after the bully, bully fell, my son hit him in the back and sides a couple times, bully got up ran and fell again getting a rug burn by his eye, bully went home whined was taken th the Dr. who said he had a slight concussion....................my son who has been bullied by this kid for 2 months prior was cited with a assault iv , we go to court next week and attourney says we may not win due to the concussion....supposed concussion.....everything is for the bully and nothing for my son.....can anyone help???? not only do they want him to write the bully a letter of apology, they want him to PAY THE BULLY $ 514.00 "
02/13/2012:
"All elementary and secondary schools need to cut out the bureaucratic red tape and get much tougher on bullies. Also, schools need to institute forms for student complaints and they need to be treated exactly like disciplinary referrals. In elementary school, they need to start suspending students out-of-school, who are guilty of any forms of harassment, 1-3 days, plus take away recess time for up to 3 weeks. In secondary school, suspend students out-of-school for 1 week for the first harassment offense(NO VERBAL WARNINGS GIVEN, WHATSOEVER), 2 weeks out-of-school suspension for the 2nd offense of harassment, indefinite out-of-school suspension for the 3rd offense and expulsion from the school district on the 4th offense. Case and point, schools need to let these bullies know, once and for all, that there's absolutely no tolerance for any kind of harassment, toward any student, whatsoever. BTW, the students' parents need to sign a form, agreeing to the consequences for s! tudents, suspended from school for harassment, and once the parents sign that form, they cannot appeal any out-of-school suspension for harassment. Case and point, it's high time to make an example out of the bullies, once and for all. "
02/6/2012:
"May I say I'm so sorry for your lose! I know it doesn't mean much coming from a stranger but it is heart felt. I'm Grandma who adopted my grandson along with my husband and then my husband died 2 years later when my boy was 7 years old. The child has been with us since birth and I could not love him anymore if I had him myself. We lived in another state and he was fine in school there. Then we moved after my husband died. Since being here the bulling has started and while he was in elemnetary school they did handle it pretty well. Now he is in High School and things are changing. he has only been here half a school year so far. I don't want to lose my child and we do talk a lot! He says he wants to try and handle it himself and I'm letting him try. I've told him I will get him into another school, home school him what ever it takes and he has said to me I can't run from it! He has also said I'm different than most kids and he is! He was brought up by older people and we didn't have close neighbors, he thinks much older about a lot of things. Just like he has said some of the guys like acting tough to show off for girls. As he put it they get a girl and get what they want and then dump the girl. He feels sorry for them! What do I do? They are just now trying to take care of the bulling in school as ! the state passed a new law which says NO MORE BULLING! I want his school years to be a great thing for him not what is going on right now. The boy got suspended for a day and when he came back asked my boy if he had told on him but my boy would not speak to him and walked away. We just had a Father who lost his son from bulling at my boys school to talk about it. For the bullies it meant nothing! I just don't know what to do! "
02/2/2012:
"My son attends Public School 98 in District 26 hidden inside an urbanized area. WIth no more than 300 students it would seem possible for a good learning institution. My son is in Kindergarden. An experience that will follow him through out his learning experience. Unfortunately his learning is being hindered by one unruled child. My son is being bullied/teased repeatedly and he reports it to the teachers, and the school Principal blames him for being a "tattle tale and a spy" I have tried writing letters and talking to the school. Nothing is working. Their reply is "this is how boys play" I do not believe spitting and hitting privacy areas following by "you deserve this" is how 5 year old "just play". I would like some advice/help on how to deal with public school "Discipline codes/actions" This situation is not just for my child. Other children are getting targeted. Open school week was a week ago. This school did not send out any notice, the school also forbid the "sit in class observation" , prior to this incident it was very welcomed. My current mission is to get media involved to this school. There will be no leaf unturned for the safety of any child that is being tormented by a bully. "
01/31/2012:
"I was bullied in middle school. Then one day, my much older brother who was out of high school showed up to see what was going on from the school parking lot. He watched remotely and as soon as an incident started, he came over, grabbed the bully by the coat, told me to get on the bus and ran into the principles office. I was never picked on again. If this happens to my kids, I will interventing in a similar fashion *and* filing civil suits on the parents. It will not be tolerated, period and will cost them very dearly.. "
01/30/2012:
"I'm in your corner... I know the lost o a child, well due to violence. also ongoing bullying issues with another child School policies victimized my child. He has been bullied in different schools for years. He is growing tired of being picked on, and trying to walk away. Punished for something he did not start. Then, he has received an informal expulsion hearing/suspended. (Attacked by more than one student) I had to get police involved after weeks of communication with the school for no action taken on one student. As a parent, I had to go outside the school, to have a record of the attacker. Now suspended again, after being punched in his face twice before defending himself. (Suspended) The day prior to this issue, he sought assistance from staff to resolve the issue. The staff had other pressing staff issues (as told to us, parents prevented this from happening) After he waited ½ hour, he returned to class on his own (no staff showed up). He still tried to find a way to walk away. Now the 2nd fight this year, there are similar issues regarding the school bullying policy. I teach my children to attempt to let adults/teachers/parents handle the issue. That doesn't seem to be the answer for the immediate punch... By school standards … get beat up first, and then we will suspend the attacker. This is hard for anyone much less teenagers. True me my children that fighting is not the answer And I will do their fighting for them……but I’m not there when the bullying occurs. The victim now becoming the victim of the school. Where is the logic in that? Somebody…. HELP …..Solutions… So much more to this ..so much more!! UNFAIR "
12/23/2011:
"Our Lady Queen of Martyrs school in Beverly Hills, Michigan has a serious bullying problem. Neither the Principle nor the Parish Priest do anything about it. Kids are being physically attacked by other kids in the grade school on a regular basis. Many parents are pulling their children out of this school after receiving no response from the administration. Many parents have been to speak with the Principal and Parish Priest without any action. Since it is a private school, the Priest has the final word and is not accountable to anyone. The Detroit Archdiocese says that they can't do anything about the problem and didn't seem surprised when contacted about the issue. Many parents are sincerely concerned for the safety of the children at this school who are left with the bullies. Just another case of a "Don't Tell" policy. "
12/13/2011:
"Parents, most teachers and administration do very little about bullying. As lame as it sounds, I wrote an email to my daughter's bully's mom. I explained what her daughter was saying and doing, in a respectful manner. I received a "I will look into it." That's it and never heard from her again. But the bullying stopped. I would have continued sending the mom emails for every incident, even if she would have told me to stop. Just remember to be respectful in your emails and make sure the incidents are all dated. If it gets physical, call the police and file a police report and show them your documentation. You may also consider cc'ing teacher names and principal names. This will also send a message to school's administration. Do anything you can for your child. Do not expect school administration to deal with it. They typically do not. Stand up for your child! "
12/8/2011:
"I am currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF. My child is a softmore at a Clarksville TN. High School. She has been going threw the samething with a group of bullies. My wife has addrest the school with no results. This has gone on for two months or longer and my daughter had enough and fought back. She suffered a head injury and had to go the emergency room and have catscan done. I was so mad and could not even do anything about it becouse i am 8000 miles away fighting for our country. I am so disapointed in the system that while i am sacrawficing everything over here that my own daughter isent safe at school and the school hasent done enough to help her much less stop this from happening. I love my country and serve proudly and only ask that my family be safe while i am doing my jod for my country. I feel so helpless and need to return home as to keep my own family safe. this is so wrong for all familys that have to go threw this. The laws need to be much clear! er and tuffer on bullies and this needs to happen soon before more kids are hurt as my child and the Smalley family which has lost there child to this meaneless bullieing. MY heart and prayers go out to you smalley family and anyone else going threw this. YOURS TRULY SGT RAMOS US ARMY AFGHANISTAN. "
12/5/2011:
"I made the mistake of sending my child to bethal bible village ,who in turn sent her to school at hixson middle school. There she was allowed to leave the campus with a 16 year old in the 8th grade the same grade my child is in. She was hurt and punished by the school instead of being treated. I made a serious mistake allowing her to attend and I wish with all my heart I could correct by changing the personnel at the school and on the broad. roni "
11/16/2011:
"We sold our home in 2010 at a huge loss to escape the neighbors, all teachers, and their bully children. I felt like I was living in a nightmare. Our new school district is great! Our neighbors are awesome too. I feel so sorry for parents going through this. Hang in there! Consider moving, legal action, and homeschooling. BTW, you can press charges in many cases if the school won't act. You can not change these bully kids; they have learned this behavior at home. Ultimately, you only have control over choices for your child. In the end, for us, our goal was to protect our kids. The only way to take control was to move. "
11/10/2011:
"I think the entire discussion here is interesting. I can say with certainty that bully is one of the single greatest problems in schools right now. I'm actually a high school student and I have a large group o friends who are bullied. There have been several comments about the fact that we need to focus on things like literacy or good grades, but a person who is bullied can't necessarily achieve good literacy or grades because their life is miserable and they don't want to put the effort into doing something at a place where every day is torture to them. If you just look at the statistics you can see that suicide is the 3rd leading cause for death of people from 15-24 and a large portion of these suicides are partially or fully related too bullying. "
11/8/2011:
"my daughter has been bullied by the same set of kids for 4 years ! the school and law inforcement believe kids will be kids ! i am so sick of hearing that ! the parents of these children are just as bad ! my daughters hates going to school because when she does confide in a teacher she is the one told to sit down and be quiet or she is the one getting in trouble ! she has begun to fight her bullies which terrify me ! what do i do ! trying to get the teachers and principle to sit and talk or even return a phone call is nearly impossible ! what do i do? "
10/24/2011:
"I am greatly saddened by this article. It is a massive lost for this little boys family. My condolences go out to Ty's family. My daughter was bullied for 2 years in her old school it was tough for us because the school wouldn't take real action. That is the problem with bulling there are NO consequences.We hear about the anti bulling marches and the no room for hate in school but that is all it is a march and a rally the naked truth is nothing happens in fact we never hear about the measures schools will take with the children bulling the others,no detention no suspension nothing someone needs to take responsibility & real action in the matter. "
10/24/2011:
"Teachers are not trained properly to resolve security and juvenile offense threats (bullying is both), and are usually too afraid to get involved. School principals are overwhelmed and sometimes don't care. The principals who do can't be everywhere at the same time. Public education is not just an assembly line where too few workers try to take already built cars and turn them into something they really aren't even sure of; for most innocent kids who are there for an education and not to dominate others, it is like a shooting gallery, and the kids are put up there by adults to pass by the shooting range manned by kids whose parents can't or won't handle their own kids so they send them to school and basically sick them on innocent kids. This is what you get with government run bureaucracy: predictably lousy service on what counts. You also get an institution that gives no guarantees, has no legal duty to any individual, but only a duty to all which means a duty to no one in particular. And guess what, every one of the kids is "someone in particular." It's an idiotic mass processing system that is totally unsuited to the human being. The sloppy, unprofessional environment in schools lets bullying become endemic and destroys quality education for many kids. It's simply the wrong environment for children to learn in. It was formed at a time when children were to be seen and not heard, and they were sent to learn to conform. But now it is a place where unruly children infect each other with bad habits and teachers don't know how to stop it. It's obsolete. I believe the time has come for full parent-child freedom to choose the right educational logistics for their own family, and public funds should be used only for the equipping mechanism. Families ought to be able to assemble, pool monies, and hire their own teachers to form their own small coops. "
10/24/2011:
"This is one indicator that the public school system is obsolete. It was formed up at a time when pseudo-scientists were wagging crazy, now-discredited theories about education around and experimenting on kids with them. The school system is not suited to educate a human being. It is a place where innocent kids trying to get an education (indeed compelled to do so) are placed by adults on a firing line in which aggressive children whose parents can't or won't handle them properly foist them on other people's children and the school system and laws approve of it. We have bad laws and a school system that does not suit human beings. "
10/17/2011:
"I'm sorry, I have to address the person that wrote in on 10/13/2011 about the "assertive child". Let me first say that there is a huge difference between being "assertive" and being a "bully". Maybe it would help to look at the definitions in a dictionary. There is no place for a bully in school and a victim shouldn't have to be taken out of their environment because of one "mean" child. I would suggest the exact opposite... parents of a bully should remove their problem child school and make everyone's life easier! Chances are if they bully one student, they are probably bullying 20 more that you don't even know about. The book "Please Stop Laughing at Me" by Jodee Blanco should be required reading in Junior High. Parents of bullys should also have to read it so they can understand how detrimental their childs behavior truly is. It's time to stop blaming the victims! "
10/17/2011:
"I have a now almost 14 year old daughter. When she was 10 she was bullied a lot. We lived in predominantly black neighborhood. She is Hispanic... Her dad is and I am mixed. She looks white with long straight blond hair. She was bullied so bad that she wanted to take her life. I will never forget the day she sat outside on the porch not wanting to come in from school. Now this was an issue I went to the school and spoke with the teacher. She always said she never heard anything. I demanded that my child sit in the front of the class. So if anything did happen the teacher could clearly solve the problem. I am not for fighting. I condone defending ones self. My daughter who was about 50 pounds did not know how to handle this. Teachers know smaller children get picked on. It's not new to them like it is to a parent going threw it for the first time. My daughter would come to me and tell me that it was one boy then it turned into 4 kids. I know it is parents. I know how children ! will bully just to fit in. I do not think these were bad children or that my daughter was this helpless victim. It went on for about 4 months. Witch brings us back to her sitting on the porch. I have always talked with my children and ALWAYS ask how their day has been. When 15 minutes went by from her normal arrival time from school. I went outside. There she was with a look I have only seen one other time. A time when I was 12 and being a bully to another child. The terror in her eyes the hopelessness that was in her posture was the most heart wrenching moment I have ever had. I sat down next to her and just held her. No words needed to be said. I knew it was the bullies. She burst into tears rolling down her cheeks soaking her shirt and pants. When she was finally able to tell me she wanted to die... DIE, she said. Wow I thought. How do you fix death...? Writing this is not easy, to go back to that moment. To have to relive how she was broken. So I took her inside and we ! talked. She said she was going to kill herself a few days befo! re this day. I asked what stopped her. She said she decided to see how the week turned out. It was me listening to her. Me knowing she is not me. I knowing that what might work for me might not work for her. Knowing she is quiet and that I did have to intervene. Knowing I had her back and I wasn't going to force her to speak up. To address the issue, I went to her school, leaving my daughter at home. I told the teacher I had something to say to the class. I stood in front of the children. I told them I was my daughters #1 fan. I told them that our family is a team and we stick together and when one gets hurt we all come to help. I told them that I know they might now have that at home and I know how that feels. I told these children that it is not okay to hurt others. That I have my daughters back, I have no problem handling the issue with them or their parents. I did what the teacher should have done! I went to the principal. I spoke to him. He is a white man and accused m! e of being racist against black people. Not believing my "white" daughter could be having such a hard time that she would want to kill herself. I was lost and confused. I finally knew how my daughter had felt for the last 4 months. Hopeless, with a school system of "zero tolerance." I said okay. I went to the counselor. She believed me. She told me my daughter had been to her and the playground teacher had informed her of some harassment with my daughter. She asked me what I wanted to happen. I said a meeting with the parents and staff that knows what's going on. She said she informed the parents. Okay, what now. What this lady told me next had me floored. She said she would write "I AM A BULLY" on a post it. Stick it to the main bullies forehead and make him crawl around on his knees around the class apologizing. That's your "zero tolerance" answer. I told her no! She is insane. I told her I spoke with the class and felt that I will see where it went from there. I also inf! ormed her I would be calling the school system about the reactions form! the teacher down to her. My daughter went back to the same school. The same class and I also went. I came all the time! I showed her and the class I am her #1 fan. I love my daughters more than a paycheck, rent, or anything else. I was lucky. I saw what was almost to come. I was able to help her. I think only because I began bullying 8th grade. I was a very lost child with no hope and put my hopelessness on everyone else. Most parents don't know bully behavior like that. Or have been bullied their whole life, or have teachers, and authorities turn their backs. I know how it is from both sides. We send out children to school thinking there protected. There is a teacher in the class. Thinking they will do something. NO, that's not the case. Be proactive in your children’s lives. Don't just tell them at home how to live life, show them. I moved after the school year. I moved to a predominately white neighborhood on purpose. It helped her. What I didn't anticipate was my you! ngest being bullied by the school system. As my youngest looks black. I guess my point with sharing my story is. Love your children. Hold them dear to your heart. Remember that no matter how bad things get with life, they will ALWAYS have your back. So you should in turn have theirs. I am so sorry for Ty and his family. It is so sad that someone so young can feel the pain of death. My heart hurts for him and his family. I pray that the bullies and children being bullied with find peace and that their parents will take the time and really see them for who they are and who they have the potential to be... I HIS name AMEN!! "
10/17/2011:
"The reason people raise this issue because teachers have been having tendency "whoever is crying" that child is bullied, but the other way around. When a kid got bully he/she run and run to the end he/she has to fight back than the bullier start crying. Teachers are not smart to investigate, the easy way put the victim more in the corner. My son had same problem. Lucky I found and confronted the teacher. Teacher/Principle need to learn don't get into the trap of the bullier. And don't think you are the teachers/Principle and you "KNOW EVERYTHING". "
10/17/2011:
"My son also got bully since he was 2 years old. One evening I picked him up and hold him on my hands, he slapped his hand on my face. I was stunt and kept asking myself why he did that to me, because always told him to be gentle. One day I decided to use the binocular to watch his class on break at play ground. The teacher was occupied with the other kids. One boy came to my son and smacked my so face. My son ran around to avoid him, but he kept hitting my son. My heart was squeezed, but I hold to see what next. After 3 times he hit my son. My son hit him back. The boy cried like hell and ran into the teacher then point the finger to my son. The teacher protected him and point her finger to my son. My son only be silent. I ran quick to confronted the teacher, but she had a big mouth to defend that boy until I pulled out my binocular she then quite not to say anything. This was a tactic all bulliers use to manipulate the NOT smart teachers/Principles. That why a lot of child! ren took their life. I hope this story can help schools and parents be aware of bullying in many ways. "
10/17/2011:
"I'm scare of my little girl getting bullied at school since she just started. I was a victim myself. When the teacher was told teacher wouldn't believe it. Or didn't know who to believe so both of us would get punish and that's not fair. Now has the school ever thought of cameras in class and around school? "
10/17/2011:
"The exact same thing happened to my Godson, age 12, this year on March 8. After fighting back his bully, both were suspended and within days he couldn't take it anymore. Parents had been to the school 7 times. Unfortunately, they don't have the money to sue the school district, but I think that is the only way schools are going to respond to parental concerns. Money talks. "
10/14/2011:
"As a special education teacher, I found an effective way of helping children who are bullied. Bullies can be smart and sneaky and they are drawn to kids whom they believe "won't tell." They hit or poke at kids right when a teacher isn't looking. When a bully (we'll call him Doug) picked on a victim (John) I taught John to say in a firm, clear voice: "Hey, Doug (pause) quit punching my back!" 1. Say the name of the offender in a clear, loud voice. Pause and wait for the teacher's attention. 2. Specifically and clearly identify the offending behavior. This tells the teacher who the offender is and what the specific behavior is without the victim looking like a "tattle-teller". Then the teacher deals with the offending student. With some students I had to role play situations and teach them how to use thier voices in a firm, distinctive manner. Alot of the success of this is in how the child says it. The first few times the student use the technique, I would reward him with a positve note home or even a piece of candy. Bullies like to operate in shadows and they will shy away from kids who call attention to what they are doing. This "assertiveness training" has helped the students I haved taught ing grades 4th-10th. Parents, instruct your child to confide in a "trusted adult." This is especially important in the upper grades. In a perfect world, ALL staff members would be pro-active when it came to bullies. However, this is not always the case. Know the staff at your local school. Help your children identify helpful sta! ff members before there is a problem. "Gee, I really like your ___ teacher. You know, she would be a good one to go to if you ever have any questions or concerns." I am a parent of middle school age students and I know it is a tough age. Parents, I wish you all good luck! "
10/14/2011:
"I believe schools need to change their ways on handeling a bully, The victim child should not be punished for defending himself. I also was bullied in 3rd grade. There was a boy who would through a chair at me every day or punch me, once he punched me so hard in my stomach that I was breathless and scared because I was not able to catch my breath I though I was going to die. I never told my parents, Nor my brother that was a year older than I and in the same school for fear that he would be bullied also. Once a became an adult I thought to myself how was it possible that the teacher never say this and brought it to a stop. I failed the 3rd grade because I was not able to concentrate on my school work. I was to busy watching out for the bully on how it was going to hurt me next. I do not understand how teachers and principals are not well educated on the emotional physical acts of children. Please let me know what I could do to help this cause. "
10/14/2011:
"My kid was bullied in 4 th grade. His class teacher swept the issue by saying that they have personality conflict. The bulling escalated and when brought to the principles attention she talked to my kid with the bully in the same room and told my kid two wrong dosen't make things right .In short they do not want the victim to stand up for themselves . When my kid approached the teacher when he was bullied ,he is branded as tattletale . I am so glad that we moved and that my kid is not in the same school anymore. My heart goes out to Ty's parents and I fully support their crusade against bullying and to bring about a change in school policies and laws so that the bully and their parents are held accountable for their actions .Without consequences bullies go scottfree most of the time . "
10/13/2011:
"Parents should be held accountable for their children (criminal) for bullying! It just reflects on their parenting. I am very sorry for what happened to Ty. Parents should not get away when their children are the bullies. "
10/13/2011:
"I only can imagine your pain bullies come in all ages My daughter who is in high school also bullied and punched in the head ,the other girl still attends the school and my daughter feared for her life making her self confidence and grades to be hurt my one girls actions.I went through the court system and the girl came out shinning and still bullied my daughter.The parents awarded her with a car how nice yes parents should maybe do a little jail time and maybe they would understand what a role of a parent really is... God bless you and your wife. Keep up the good work even if you get to save one life what a precious gift that is . "
10/13/2011:
"All I can say is that parents need to be involved in school and the community. I found that when we were involved, the kids (and their parents) respected our kids. We never seemed to have an issue with anyone. The best thing about being involved is that you are ther with your kids. And if you cannot be there, someone else you know will. That way the issue will be resolved before it can escalate to the level the Ty's parents experienced. "
10/13/2011:
"It is unfortunate what happened to Ty. Now Ty's father and organized institutions are forging ahead with another extreme. They want to punish any assertive child and their parents. This is not the answer. The parents of passive kids need to have a discussion on how to handle one who is assertive. Ty's parents had the option to remove him from school which they did not pursue. "
10/13/2011:
"We ran into the same problems at my daughter's school after a bully's verbal abuse escalated to destruction of my daughter's personal property to physical abuse. When my daughter reported it to a school authority, she was asked whether she wore deoderant, how often she showered and what she was doing about her acne. After being shamed and embarrassed by this, then the administrator made out that she lied. The administrator also tried to make out that my daughter threatened the bully by waving her arms at the abuser (the gesture happened when my daughter kept asking the bully "Why are you doing this?"). We were told that this was the bully's first infraction, so nothing would be done. I felt that my daughter had been bullied twice-once by a fellow student and once by a school administrator. "
10/13/2011:
"This is why our organization, Horses4Heroes created 8*9*10: Ride to Win, a self empowerment program for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders! Our program gives kids the tools and life skills they need to walk tall, avoid bullies and bullying behavior, build up their self-esteem and self-confidence. In short, we seek to create less victims for bullies to bully. Horses are prey animals and they make great partners for these sessions. For information on how to set up a program in your area, call (702) 645-8446! "
10/13/2011:
"I believe that the problem in our society is the disconnect from personal relationships in our communities. I think that laws will not change behavior, but people can. Get to know the people around you. Help kids to make strong connections and teach them to stand up for themselves. One of our kids was bullied. He stood up for himself and it thankfully stopped. I let him know that he may get in trouble at school, but not at home if he was defending himself. It is unfortunate that our society creates people who can bully and schools hide behind, the old adage of kids being kids, boys being boys. I am not about lawsuits, but money makes schools change behavior faster than legislation. If his parents sued and donated the money to their cause it may speed the action they are looking for. "
10/12/2011:
"No doubt school administrators could do more - and many do. Schools and administrators must be held responsible, however, the "system" does limit school and administrator authority. Parents on both ends must also take responsibility. Parents of a bullied child who are not satisfied with a school or administrative response should continue efforts with district administration, an advocate, the police and the DA. I agree with earlier comments that there should also be severe consequences for parents whose children are the bullies. "
10/12/2011:
"Lately I learned my 8 yr old son was bullied by another (not 2 yrs worth of bullying like that unfortunate child was) but just the same, I made it a point to go into the school and meet up with the boy as I picked up my son and tell him this as I looked directly into his cowardly eyes, " This is my son, hes a great son and a great kid in general and I hate to think of what I would be capable of doing to someone who ever thought of hurting him"!!! I asked him to shake my sons hand and to think hard about what I said". I never specifically mentioned anything to him that I knew he was bullying, but he evidently got the point. I was also prepared (if this didnt work) to deal with the bully's dad in an "old school" fashion if I had to. Unfortunately, like the article mentioned, this politically correct society which we live can get offended by some idiot on mtv or some nonsense.......but wont help a child being senslessly bullied into commiting suicide. You also saw how the schoo! ls administration did little to nothing and only made matters worst. I now tell my boy that if he is bullied again, to ask the principal to handle it or I (my son) will have to punch for the nose to stop the bully in his tracks; if this doesnt work or if you (principal) dont deal with it, my family will. "
10/12/2011:
"To the writer whose daughter was tormented about her weight and the school made it worse: My daughter was bullied in elementary school. The school administration and teachers supposedly tried to stop it, but were not effective. We found a "Girl Power" group in our city at a non-profit agency and our daughter went through it twice. She loved it! It did not stop the bullying, but it gave her a sense that there was a group on her side. Girl Scouts has also helped her, although some troops are cliqueish. Again, to that parent I would say, try to get your daughter into a positive group outside of school. It may not stop the bullying at school, but it will give your daughter an edge on self-esteem. Good luck! "
10/11/2011:
"This is a serious issue in our schools. The administration is doubtful, they never seem to do enough, and when they do it's too late. The bully needs to be the one questioned, punished and dealt with. Not the victim. We don't ask to get picked on, it just happens. "
10/11/2011:
"My thoughts and prayers are with Ty's family; what a horrific thing to go through. May, "Stand for the Silent," be an organization that truly helps schools (and parents) deal with bullying in the best possible manner. My two cents: Mandatory counseling sessions for the bully. Once the bully understands why s/he has to desire to bully, then progress can be made to stop the bullying. While my heart aches for families having to deal with their kids being bullied, my heart also aches for the great sadness/anger that lives inside of the bully. "
10/11/2011:
"You are much more civilized than I would have been in this situation. I grew up in a different country when kids just fought, there was never any pressure of bullying and when somebody picked on me, they got their behind kicked! And any kid will get their behind kicked if they touch my kids, I don't care what they will do to me, but my kids will not suffer the abuse. Seriously, I know violence is not the answer and this is the country addicted to suing, but I would go to that kid's parents and beat their ass. And I am really sorry for Ty and all other kids that have to endure bullying and don't have anywhere to turn to but to nothingness "
10/11/2011:
"What happened to my last post? When one of my sons was bullied in 6th grade, he spoke to his homeroom teacher. She spoke to the bully. (rich kid) The bully then went to my son and confronted him because he had told the teacher. It's a never ending cycle. Another kid insulted my son and beat him up. My son went to the homeroom teacher (it's a small Catholic school) and the teacher didn't do anything. The bullying continued. My son (small and not athletic) finally defended himself by punching the other kid. I thought, of great, my kid will probably be suspended while the other boy (affluent family) will probably get nothing, but the teacher sat down and talked with my son and the other boy and said the fighting has to stop. I thought the fighting was over, but then the kid started prank calling my son and making death threats. Caller ID and tracing, we know for a fact it was him. My husband is a police officer. He spoke to the parents of the other boy and at first the! y denied that their son would ever do something like that, but then they said they'd speak to him. That was the end of it. There are nice rich people out there, I'm friends with some of them. But it's interesting that most of the kids that bullied my kids and others at their schools were fairly well-off, at least in comparison to our family. There's a sense of "we're better than you" because we have money, live in a nicer neighborhood. Even among the Catholic high schools the families at the more affluent school look down on the other schools. It may not always lead to physical bullying, but it contributes to verbal and cyber bullying. "
10/11/2011:
"I think every school system should offer K-12 virtual school, so that bullies can be sent out of the classroom instead of us pulling our children out and homeschooling them. "
10/11/2011:
"It's so sad to keep hearing these stories about young children taking their lives because they just can't take it any more. How many children have to take their own lives for people to start taking this seriously. My son has been bullied. He is not the smallest kid, not shy, and he has a lot of friends. It happens to a lot of kids every day. We, as parents, have to take the 1st step in stopping this scary epidemic. Something has to change and it has to start at home. Kids learn from their parents to judge and that some things are okay to say to other children. Wake up America...these children are our future!!! Talk to your children, make stopping bullying a priority in your house. You can't change the world, but you can change how your child acts and how he or she reacts. My thoughts and prayers to Ty's family. "
10/11/2011:
"I am so sorry for your loss I have a 6th grader and tears came to my eyes reading this. I am glad you are trying to do something about bullying in schools. I think one of the hardest types of bullying to detect is the verbal kind. The bully says things under her/his breath to someone and no one else hears (especially teachers). Some schools cover up the bullying and others try to deal with it. I remember in elementary school, a girl was being picked on by a boy and principal said that he probably likes her. My daughter's middle school has something going on right now in school regarding bullying. I cannot remember the name but it is something to do with GREAT. "
10/11/2011:
"I pray that you and your family get relief and I hope that you will be successful with putting out your message and preventing future bullying of many many many children. I found out that my daughter was being bullied by other kids during an after school dance that I attended with her (I never let her go anywhere without me). I was observing her interactions with the other kids and notice that the group of kids she was with kept avoiding this other group. Then, I notice that one of the children had on her glove and would not give it back, so I waited and asked the child did the glove she has on belongs to my child and she politely said yes. I asked for it back and she did. Later, kids come running up to me to tell me that she be bullying my daughter and did not want to be mentioned because they were afraid the same thing would happen to them The next day, I went to her school to inform the Principal about what happened as well as to let her know that other kids are being bullied by them. While there, I was approached by her one of teachers which stated that she was getting ready to write my daughter up for hitting her with an object, for assault. The same kids at the dance had been hitting her in the head and back throughout that day with their hands and objects and one of the objects hit her. Some kids pulled me to the side and said they told the teacher that she did not do it. They also said my daughter told the teacher that they had been hitting her in the head and back, earlier in the day. And, she did nothing about it but made my daughter not attend the in school activities that day. (My daughter talked about those activities for a week only to be told she could not attend and made sure I left her money to attend.) I approached the Teacher with the facts, “my daughter had been hit throughout the d! ay and she informed you, and you did nothing. “ She said she thought they were playing and that all of them were throwing the objects. I asked her who told her that, guess what, the bullies. NOTE: During that week they also wrote obscene words about the teacher and my daughter on my daughter’s desk and told the teacher she did. I asked her why didn’t she stop them and she said, “at that point, it had not hit me.� To make a long story short, I welcomed the Teacher to writer my daughter up and the Principal to suspend her but warned them that I was going all the way to Congress if I had to as well as pull the media in, if they did. Later, I found out that one of the bullies told my daughter that she was going to bring her cousins to the school to beat her up. Not to mention, this child's mother is known for beating up the parents of other students she had bullied. I know it was not right, I took off for an entire week and took my daughter to/from school and requested a meeting with the parents. The mother never showed but arrived to the meeting in sweats and tennis shoes because I refuse to let my daughter be bullied another day. I don’t recommend another parent to do this but I had had it. It felt like my daughter was against the Principal, teacher and the bullies and I was not going to let that happen. I pay taxes in that County and my child should be able to attend school without issues or be worried about being beaten up. The only things she should be focusing on is academics and being her best. "
10/11/2011:
"My heart truly goes out for Ty's parents. I can't imagine an 11 year old child feeling so much pain that they feel that their only resort is to kill themselves. This is really a sad, sad case and I wish that Ty's parents would have taken legal action against the school district because the only way to hurt them is by forcing them to be held accountable. "
10/11/2011:
"how do I get Kirk Smalley to speak at my children's school? Editor's note: Try contacting him through the group he works with: Stand for the Silent at www.standforthesilent.com. "
10/11/2011:
"When my daughter was in middle school, suddenly two of her close friends turned on her. They would trip her as she walked to her seat, and "accidentally" bump into her hard. One of them was the classroom recorder of grades for their history class, so she would give my daughter zeroes for homework, even though it was always completed correctly. The school had a conflict resolution program and the girls (all 3 of them) were brought there to try to resolve the issue. All students in the program sided with my daughter and essentially told the other two to stop it. So did many teachers, and the administrators. However, the "head mean girl"'s mom lived in a fancier area than we did (though the amount of time and money donated to the school was similar) - the girl ended up getting the award for best history student that year. What a joke. The mom still thinks her kid walks on water. "
10/11/2011:
"I was bullied and picked on from 2nd to 6th grade at a Catholic school during the 80's. I kept my mouth shut and avoided confrontation until I was 12 and I seriously considered killing myself. I finally told my mom what had been going on for years and she transfered me to another school. I thrived, but I have suffered from low self-esteem ever since. Now, my 10 year-old son is being bullied in his Catholic school. The torment started in kindergarten. I've spent hours talking to his teachers, the principal and the boy's parents for the past 5 years. Usually, the bullying would stop. Now, the boy has taken to physically trying to intimidate my son. After a confrontation that resulted in both my son and the bully losing lunch recess to the assistant principal, they (the school) have finally started observing the kids in class and at recess. I've documented all the occurences this year. I've informed the school that my son has permission to defend himself and that, if he gets in! trouble for protecting himself, the school, the archdioces and the bully's family will be sued. I pray for the Smalley family and I hope that more parents advocate for their children before such a tragedy can befall them. We can only change the situation by changing the system that's in place. "
10/11/2011:
"I did take the school to court and won. The judge stated in his verdict the the school didn't fulfill it's obligations to me as a parent. It was a small claims court and a private school, but it gave us some kind of closure since nobody ever apologized for the actions or the luck of those. I found out my 7th grader was bullied at the end of the school year when his honor roll grades started falling and he submerged himself in reading. The school failed to report to me his asking his teacher for help. Fortunately, my son "exoloded" in class during another torment he was subjected to and that was another sign to me, but not the school. They saw it a separate incident and wanted to deal with him. I had 3 weeks of fruitless e-mail communication with the administration and the teacher. Documented every message. When the bully laid his hand on my younger son, then 6th grader, I took the stand and told the administration I didn't feel my boys were safe at school and pulled them out. Asked for them to finish the school from home and wasn't given that option. I was pretty much shown the door when confronted the principal and the Head od School in person and was threatened when mentioned the Sheriffs. The next day filed the police report of battery and then within few ! weeks filed the case. I knew my sons would physically mature later and might be a target since I raise them on my own without much TV or gaming. I put them in sports from the early age. They are strong endurance athletes and compete with the adults, but it didn't spare them from the attacks. It took us all over a year to put it all behind and start rebuilding the boys' self esteem. I am sure the nasty memories will stay forever. I spoke with many piople during the whole ordeal and came to some conclusions. In the boy's case, the middle school and especially 7th grade are the most turbulent. They grow and mature at different time and rate. Kids make mistakes for one reason or the other and it is up to adults to correct them. The lack of action and dismissal of parental complaints are criminal and a major disservice to all the parties involved, including the bullies. They get the green light to keep going. 30% of them end up with the criminal record before the age of 30. Another private school in the area handled a very similar situation differently and the boys eneded up on the friendly terms as they moved into high school. It took the parents several attempts to find a responsive person in the administration. The bullies were required to come to the principals office every day at lunch for 2 weeks and write different papers on bullying. They were not allowed to speak with the one they bullied. They were given a message ( and everyone around) that such behavior would not be tolerated. Another private school close by has a hot line that anybody can use anonymously and report bullying and I heard it is quite effective. It takes action and determination from the school administration. The teachers should be educated in handling the bullying, since they are the closest to the children during the school time. Too many kids do not let their parents know of what they have to go through. It is our right to have children in the safe environment. Nob! ody should loose their children to the mismanagement of the school system. They have all the power to change the situation and influence the parents. "
10/11/2011:
"My heart goes out to Ty's parents. If only they had listened, we always say... But keep doing what you and your family are doing for Ty. In the end it will be worth it. Blessings. "
10/11/2011:
"Schools are keeping the reporting a seceret, endangering students, staff and teachers! in order to stay out of the news. bringing the victim and bully together and told to be friends is common practice in schools today. My heart goes out to Ty's family! "
10/11/2011:
"I'm shaking my head over this comment about holding the schools responsible because "where I live taxes are so high that parents have to work all the time. . ." Uhhhh, maybe you should MOVE to an area you can afford and RAISE YOUR OWN KIDS! Bullies have always been around, but it used at least be looked down on by the other kids! Bullies were the dumb, social outcasts, who couldn't get attention elsewhere. Now it's the smart kids, cheerleaders, popular kids, etc. I think maybe dropping our kids off at daycare, leaving them at school, sending them back to daycare, picking them up, feeding them, and putting them to bed MAY NOT BE WORKING. We are leaving it to the institution to teach our kids, along with 30 of their closest friends, about morals (Do you even share those with all of the teachers? I sure as heck don't!), kindness, sensitivity, values. HELLO??? Let the teachers help your kids to read, do math, learn about history and science. How to be a good person and citizen??? That's a parent's job! Figure out a way to be home when your kid is out of school and get to know them and teach them to make good choices! You only get a few years to do this -- make them count! Help your child to realize that ! the bullies are the loosers, not them, regardless of what they say! (Read the Clique series with your daughters and make connections between the characters and the girls at school! "She's SUCH a Massie!" was a common phrase in our house for awhile.) "My child was being bullied for the entire school year, two years, 7 years. . ."??? BS! You should be ashamed of yourself! If your kid is miserable, get them the hell out of that situation! Would you stay in a job with that kind of abuse??? Well, your kid is limited in his options and YOU ARE HIS/HER ADVOCATE!!! Physical bullying??? EASY, call the police and press charges. It's called ASSAULT! The schools and parents will start to perk up after a visit from the police! Not enough? Call an attorney! Schools are REQUIRED to show what they are doing to rectify the situation (and it's A LOT of paperwork and hassle). They can act on the warning that you will be calling your attorney, or they can deal with the repercussions for their negligence. Teach your child to defend him/herself. Take him for karate lessons! Give them the confidence that they have the skills if they need them and their attitude will make them less of a target so they may never need to use it! You need to let your kid know that, if they are suspended for defending themselves, OH WELL! Who cares? We'll go to lunch and a movie! I KNOW YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG!!! All this concern over the victim being suspended. What? Is this the end of the world for a 3rd or 4th grader? Make a stink, sure, because of the injustice, but not at your kid! Don't make that the reason we just endure the abuse! On the other hand, if your kid bullies, you take away iPod, cell phone, DS, PS2 and 3, Wii, and every other electronic device known to man and you have them read something that might make them a better person! They may not leave their bedroom for anything but the bathroom, meals, and scooping poop! Not for a day. . . for a MONTH or for the rest of the school year. Homeschooling is an option. Moving to another school is an option. YOU HAVE OPTIONS!!! Be CREATIVE. DO NOT SEND YOUR KID INTO THE DEPTHS OF HELL if you know they are truly being tormented. BE A PARENT!!! Act on your instincts! "
10/11/2011:
"It's interesting to read the posted comments about who is to blame for bullying. Of course, it's starts at home with parents who do not teach their children to be compassionate & kind. Teachers & administrators are also to blame because most of the time the bullying is happening at school. I am a substitute teacher & I have witnessed first-hand how the children, at such young ages, start to form cliques & leave other children out. This too is a form of bullying, but many times, at this young age, this is not a deliberate, mean act on the part of the group. This is when a teacher can make a huge difference in teaching the kids right from wrong. When I see this happening, I point out the child that is left out & is alone & ask the "group" to tell me what the "right thing to do" is. Every single time, the group will gladly invite the child to participate. If I can make a difference in a child's life when I substitute occasionally, then teachers & administrators should be ab! le to EVERY day! There is no excuse for bullying! "
10/10/2011:
"For the parents out there with kids that are bullied, my son is the smallest in his class, and from time to time, he used to get picked on. I think one thing i learned from my parents that helped me as a child, and what we have truly forgotten in todays society is.. Kill your enemy with kindness.. theyll never know what youre up to. Too many kids, and adults for that matter have learned that blabbing whatever out of their mouths is okay. If the parents do it, then the child does it. Parents, start stepping up and teaching your children the above mentioned. Parents of bully's.. knock your mouth off in front of your kids.. and start teaching them something they can really use in their lives, like.. kindness, responsibility, and guidance! My son makes everyone laugh now.. even bullys need a laugh.. "
10/10/2011:
"I wish they had a policy in place when my daughter was in 8th grade. This boy threatend to kill her. The principal ignored my calls and i almost pulled her out of school. One of the most important to write every incident down, every call you make and every email you may send. Documentation made a big difference. In the end the girls admitted they lied but her love of school ended with this. "
10/10/2011:
"I was bullied for 7 years by the same kids (I went to a small, parochial school in the 60's). I was raised with a 'turn the other cheek' mantra and my parents taught us to endure with kindness. But the bullying progressed to the point where I couldn't eat and I would become sick every morning before school. I also cried and cried and told my parents I didn't want to go to school. My parents dismissed this daily scenario as me being too 'sensitive as usual'. When I found the courage to tell my mom what was really going on (2 years into the bullying), she went to the teacher and told her what had been happening. I remember standing there is total disbelief when the teacher pulled me and the (main) bully, off to the side later in the day. She basically told me that I must have been mistaken (about the bully's behavior) and that we "all need to move on". How ironic that this girl's parents were well-to-do and contributed a great deal of financial support to the school. The bully! ing continued through 8th grade and I finally arrive at a breaking point. One day, during class, while working on an assignment in a group, one of the boys from the bully group kept taunting me under his breath, making comments on how ugly and stupid I was. I finally had it and I became enraged. I just looked at him straight in the eye, and said slowly in a low tone (in a rather scary way, I might add), "Shut...Up!". He immediately shifted uncomfortably in his seat and didn't know where to put his eyes. The bullying stopped that day. I know its not this 'easy' for most kids to stop bullying...believe me, there were times when I thought that I didn't want to be around any more because I hadn't a clue how to fix it. All the years of bullying became a huge ball of yard, twisted and knotted--there was no way I could untangle it. Unfortunately, I've learned through this experience that my words can cut...deeply! Now, as our daughter is experiencing bullying, I'm having the most ! difficult time in dealing with the emotions I'm experiencing a! nd I'm trying to teach her to use her words to cut deeply too. Perhaps not the best way to deal with these situations, but its a start to give our daughter some power over what is happening. I posted earlier in this thread that I had gone to the administration re: the bullying my daughter was experiencing and they made it so high-profile, that it took the focus away from the real bullies and turned it on to her. "
10/10/2011:
"Part of the problem is that the bullies are excellent manipulators. They are able to put on a show of being well behaved in front of teachers and parents. Girls who were cruel to my daughter would regularly greet me by name with a big smile when they saw me at school. This can make it hard for adults to believe that these "sweet" children could be cruel. I think administrators can have a difficult time separating fact from fiction when two children have different versions of events - the bully will either deny or rationalize his or her behavior and, if there are not witnesses coming forward, how does the administrator know for sure what has happened? Bullying usually takes place when adults are not present. Other children fear that if they come forward, they will become the target. It is a very difficult problem to solve. I think students need to be given strategies for standing up for themselves, along with being supported by the school administration. "
10/10/2011:
"Amen! Why do kids have to bully I really think it comes from home, what are these parents teaching their kids I have a daughter in 8th grade who was bullied last year in 7th grade and nothing was done about it, its so sad that we have schools like this we should feel save when our kids are in school but unfortunately its not like that, I read tje book "School Boy" By Stanely J Lyons its real good. It's so sad to see a little boy had to take his life cuz of a bully like this my prayers go out to the family of Ty. "
10/10/2011:
"My granddaughter is being bullied at her school. There is one person who says/does something to her everyday. We've told her that when it happens to go to a teacher/administrator and tell them what is happening. Like he said, no one else say it so it didn't happen in their eyes. I told her to fight back if it became physical. The girl grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back, my granddaughter hit her on the arm and my granddaughter was suspended for a physical altercation that was totally unacceptable. Why does it seem that the bully never gets caught harrassing but the victim gets caught fighting back? "
10/10/2011:
"My son endured bullying for 5 years. I have also seen how the school "handles" the bullying problem. I am now home schooling both of my children and they are both happy and thriving academically. I would not feel safe sending my kids back to school until school systems come up with better policies that will punish the bully and protect the victim. "
10/10/2011:
"To "I abhor bullying". You are WRONG. If you have not been a parent or a child in this position, then you have no clue as to how a child feels. I have two children, a boy and a girl, who were both bullied in U.S. schools in Northern California. This country has serious problems. Schools are negligent. We place our child in their care and they MUST take responsibility for what ensues on their property, just as we must be on ours. Liabiltiy is a serious issue that schools do not take proper controls for. In my case, as in others you read, the schools were useless in rendering anything to stop the bullying, teasing, name calling, intimidation and physical abuse. My kids are quiet, controlled children. I brought them up to respect themselves and others. Too many children are out of control. Parents are directly to blame, with no punishments at home, not taking steps to get help for their children if they cannot be kept in control, and allowing children as young as 5 to! play killing and vicious killing games. I ration television, shows are monitored, and I don't allow any violent games of any sort into my home. Different, yes, but I have my standards, I stand by my morals, I'm not a follower and I'm not religious. I am likely one of few who believe in the old ways of bringing up our children to be responsible and kind human beings. I almost lost my children to suicide as well. My teen daughter a year ago. My children are not able to advocate for themselves, schools don't care about that. They think children can change over night, they can't. Bullies look for the weak, they pray on them. They want to look good, be controllers. I do believe parents should be punished as well, but schools are the first in line to be made responsible. They must keep our children safe when we must send them to school. If not, they must be held liable for anything that occurs. Easier said than done, I agree. I had to remove my children from the of! fending school district, another tremendous task to undertake.! Districts will not change. Children have to change, parents must step up. Schools need to take immediate, swift action and remove the bully from school at the first indication something has occurred. Never force a victim to meet with the bully--for all the reasons parents have shown here. I can only hope things will one day change, but society is getting worse day by day. You see angry adults every day, if they are like this to strangers, what are they like at home? Sad sad sad. "
10/10/2011:
"Blessed be to Ty's family! Back in the 60s I was a tall, skinny, shy girl and was constantly bullied. My parents offered no support so I dealt with it by pretending not to notice. I like to think it made me a compassionate adult and I became nurse specializing in developmental disabilities as a school nurse. But 2 years ago I posted an online comment on the editor of our (capital city) Florida newspaper's blog, which he completely misread and construed it as a "threat" against his disabled daughter!!! He contacted the superintendent and my principal. This man is often labeled a bully by readers. I found myself dissolving into the bullied child mentality again after 30+ years, stunned by the accusation, and resigned without a fight. The pain of being bullied does not go away. For better or worse, for those of us who "survived", it became part of our psyche and formed our emotional base, which works overtime trying to protect us. In our adult years our reactions to current assaults was forged by the first bullies; those who tried to weaken and stigmatize us. Please don't blame the teachers! Like school nurses, they work in the trenches and are low in the school board's political pecking order. They chose this profession to make society better, for low pay and status, not take sole responsibility for troubled children's behavior. "
10/10/2011:
"Thank you for your article. My son went through a lot of the same issues. He was bullied for years and when I finally got him to stand up for himself he got suspended. When he resisted going to school I had to go to court to defend myself for his being late. Im happy to report I got him placed into a different school. He's so much happier now. I wish I hadn't waited so long. Please don't hesitate to remove your child from a school that won't protect your child. There are many options now. Cyber school, magnet schools, utilize the no child left behind act to get your child into another school in or out of your district. Private schools often offer grants or income based tuition. If your child's school won't protect them, remove your child! It makes a world of difference in your childs life. "
10/10/2011:
"I am so sorry to read about Ty. We went through a similar situation with my daughter. Visited the school to speak about the problem and were told that there was nothing they could do about it. Her acting out behavior became worse because she was frustrated and she could not stop the bully and intimidation. The bully was making her friends not associate with her. Her friends were excluding her from activities because of the bully controlled the situation with fear. To find a way of dealing with the problem we finally visited a psychologist that work with my daughter to build skills to deal with the bullying. Later I found out that there were a number of other children that were also being terrorized and affected by the bully, but parents did not know what to do. These children were having severe stomach aches, did not want to go to school, and cutting themselves. We count our blessing that we addressed the problem before she committed suicide, the Doctor said she wanted to kill herself. After the bullying and counseling my daughter was never as competitive and did not want to attract attention to herself. She wanted to stay under the radar. She was only 7 years old. "
10/10/2011:
"I was very saddened by this article. I was relentlessly bullied when I was in school during the 1970's. I also tried to kill myself because I just couldn't face another day of torment. I survived the attempt, but the scars have burdened me all of my life. I'm now in my 50's so bullying isn't a new thing. The administrators and teachers at my school wouldn't do anything. In fact, they sometimes laughed at the comments like "Fag", "Queer", "Sissy", etc. I hope the years have taught those in education that this problem can be very devastating to an individual's self-esteem. Thank you to Ty's father and to others who are trying to make this offense a serious one. I'm just sorry that help came too late for this young man. "
10/10/2011:
"I am so very sorry for your loss!!! As the parent of a "bullied" child I know the frustrations. We want our children to be more assertive but when they cannot and telling authorities does nothing we then become very frustrated. Zero tolerance should not go both ways when a child has been bullied and repeatedly nothing has been done. I say pull them out of school. These bullys obviously have underlying issues which is why they are the way they are. Why should our children suffer because of their issues............ "
10/10/2011:
"My heart goes out to the Smalley. I beleive Mr. Smalley is on the right track, and his crusade should be applauded. "
10/10/2011:
"You know their is a process that police go through when physiologically profiling serial killers,and studies that produce key tigers why, in this case would cause a kid to bully as well as allow being bullied?Here are some questions, is this the 50% that is genetically passed from parent to child, a chemical issue that could be addressed by therapy or medication.Or the other 50% that is environmentally introduced by a parent figure that just has issues controlling for whatever reason; themselves as well as their child s actions. I for one never asked to be bullied as a child,but when I went home to a situation that wasn't any easier than being bullied at school;what do you do?I finely got tired of it and stood up for myself just to have to go home and be encouraged to fight as well as being punished by the school for doing what I had no other choice but to do.I saw school as my only way out and tried my best to stay out of trouble,but they just treated me as a number and tro! ublemaker which is more evident now than it was back in my days of school.Unfortunately I agree SOME of these parents need to be held accountable.If they don't know whats going on that should tell them they are a bit disconnected form their child as well as tied up with the nonstop material issues of life,parents need to prioritize.!In my opinion these kids cannot raise them selves without guidance,and what is a parent for if not to guide their child.If a parent doesn't know what to do then they should exhaust every resource to find out! It is your responsibility as a good parent to make the time to do so. This won't solve every bully and victim problem but it will teach these kids of today that they do matter and they are more than just another tax write off.It would be a step in the right direction. The school has a roll to play in this situation also and if these kids are forced in my opinion to go or the truency officer shows up on the parents door step with a ticket no! less.Then you need to protect my child by empowering yourselv! es (The Schools) with the knowledge readily accessible to you now and if their is even the smallest of hints that bullying or otherwise is happening address it then and their.Most bullies like hiding in the shadows;try shedding some light in those corners and see if they need help,let them know that they are responsible for their actions. And that they mean more than just a paycheck to you and that this is not acceptable behavior.Obviously no one else has. "
10/10/2011:
"Very sad story thanks for sharing it is eye-opening "
10/10/2011:
"This makes me so sad! My son is one of the victims of this horrific thing! It breaks my heart to see him suffer and cry every time he tells how they bully him in school :( "
10/10/2011:
"This is a very sad story. Bullying these days have gone past what it was when I was a kid. Children need to understand the consequences of theyr actions and the fact that the bully's parents have never said a word shows the type of parents they are. Those type of parents are probably afraid of the kid themselves and can't control him. My condolences to the Smalley family and prayerfully God will heal the wound that has been caused by this family "
10/10/2011:
"This is a very moving story. My son too had to endure bullying for well over a year. In his case, the bully was a girl. You would have never believed it. I’ve seen the girl in school. She was in my son’s class for two years and attended his daycare. I’ve gone to school assemblies. She’s won every award imaginable. She is considered one of the smartest students in the grade, she is in girl scouts, in the choir, won awards for citizenship…an all around “good girl� according to the school. But as soon as teachers/adults were out of ear shot, she became a tormentor. She didn’t threaten physical abuse, but she would constantly tell my son that nobody liked him and nobody cared if he would die. She would tell him that everyone in the school wanted him to kill himself and that the only person who would attend his funeral would be me (his mother), and that I’d be happy he was out of my life. This went on for two years (2nd – 3rd grade) until I picked hi! m up from daycare & he was crying & he explained everything to me. Not only did he have to endure this during school, but also at daycare. I called the daycare as soon as we got home and was told that hey heard the girl saying those things on the bus, but she “didn’t really mean it� and “you know kids…maybe he pulled her hair or something.� I was outraged. I went to the school the next morning and spoke to my son’s teacher. She was shocked at who the bully was, but she listened to me and told me that she would handle it. By the time I made it in the work, the teacher had emailed me that she had spoken to the bully, contacted the bully’s mother and notified the school principal. The school dealt with this situation swiftly. I applaud the teacher who didn’t think, she’s just a girl…she’s not a bully. Mental torture is just as dangerous as physical torture. I later found out that my son thought about killing himself, he was just too young to k! now how to go about it! A bully can come in any package. Kee! p an eye out. It could be the girl scout next door! "
10/10/2011:
"My heart goes out to Kirk and Laura Smalley. There shouldn't ever be a reason for a child to feel so helpless that they would take their own life. Not at any age, but especially not at 11. It's really awful that the school principal would ask what was their child doing to get picked on by this bully. Ty wasn't doing anything but being himself. I know because that's all I ever did was be myself. I was bullied relentlessly from 4th-12th grade by the same girls. Fortunately it never came to a physical altercation. If it ever had I could never imagine how I'd feel being blamed for causing those girls to do anything to me and on top of that being punished for standing up for myself. I will never know exactly how Ty felt or what was in his mind, but I can certainly empathize. Being bullied is not a right of passage and it should never be accepted as such. Bullying suggests to me that there is something wrong going on with the bully. If there is a child relentlessly picking on ot! her children all the time there is an issue there that needs to be addressed. There is obviously something wrong in that child's life that makes them want to go out and make other children feel as small and powerless and miserable as they do. I agree that "yanking" your child out of the school isn't the answer. I also agree that administrators need to meet with bullies and their parents and let them know they need to address the problem and that the behaviour won't be tolerated. Consequences should be laid out in black and white not barring expulsion from said campus or district the bully is in. Why should the victim have to change schools? It's like being punished for being picked on. Make the bullies suffer the consequences of their actions. What a great thing Kirk Smalley is doing speaking out about bullying. Everyone: administrators, teachers, parents, students, need educating on this problem. I'm hoping his speaking out will prompt changes in the way bullies and bully! ing situations are handled. "
10/10/2011:
"This is a great article. Sorry to know Ty's story. As parents, we need to be with our kdis and fight bully at school and in the society. "
10/10/2011:
"A very sad story which needs to be heard by many. I am a father of 3 boys and often speak to them about bullying. I totally agree that the parents should be held accountable. That is the only way to get to the root of the problem. Fines work in almost every other aspect of our lives, and I believe that they will also work here. I also believe that we as a society must criminalize bullying; and practice zero tolerance whenever it is observed. "
10/10/2011:
"Perhaps you should rethink suing, today's world thats the only way to get a response and get Laws passed to protect our children, Schools have to be held to their responsibilites for safety of each child, to many heads look the other way to not lose funding for their A school! "
10/10/2011:
"Our school district is full of bullies. The teachers don't handle things the way they should. MAKE THE PARENTS ACCOUNTABLE for their child's actions! Homeschool is the only temporary option I've found to protect my child. But why should he be cloistered to be safe? "
10/10/2011:
"That's right : Lets get rid of the bullies. This is absolutely unacceptable. Let's demand that the parents are held accountable for their kid's actions and that clear consequences are enforced. "
10/10/2011:
"What do you as a parent say, when you teach your child to defend himself and then the school policy say, When you feel that when a child is picking on you to come to the office, OK, well the bully hits you. they may not can make it to the office, maybe they catch your child in the locker room where he is trying to get dressed to go to his next class, where are the teachers? Where is someone to help your child, then the school rule is if you fight back you get put out of school, instead of them investigating what happen. I certainly hold the school as well as the up bringing of this bully responsible. But what can we do to change this bulling situation, they need to have classes letting these kids know what is at state here. Your child gets picked on because he is fat, too skinny, don't have on designer clothes, color distoration, ethics, anything these dam kids need to be brought to justice as well as the parents and schools, make them wear uniforms. I know because I deal wi! th it everyday, I live in fear of my child at school. My condolences go out to Ty's parents. Sincerely, I care "
10/10/2011:
"Until we can stop our country from being the worlds' biggest bully on a global scale, how can we model for our kids that bullying is wrong? When George Bush says "kill the Afghans" because a bunch of Saudis blew up a bunch of AMericans (maybe), when Barack Obama can kill Bin Ladin or anyone ELSE he wants to with no trial, no evidence, and who knows?! maybe no data, its pretty hard to model ourselves as responsible world citizens. Just as kids pick up smoking from their parents, they pick up bullying from their world. Just sayin.... "
10/10/2011:
"I was bullied as a child. I was embarrassed to tell my parents that I was getting bullied. I always acted like I could handle any situation, when in fact, I was scared to death to confront the few bullies I faced as a child. Now, as a parent, I am a different person. I am very confident in myself and will stand up to anyone who thinks they can say or do what they want. I am also the kind of parent that jumps on any situation. I have 6 children. I see that children are afraid to tell the teacher for fear of the "tattle tale" accusation. I also see they are afraid to stand up for themselves and get in trouble. I have vowed, even though it seems like I'm coming to the rescue, to always go straight to the parent and tell them what is going on. I report it to the teacher, and principal to make them aware. However, I feel what has been more effective is confronting the parent in a mature, concerned way and simply stating what is happening in school. I promise you, almo! st all of the parents had no clue their children were doing things to bully others. Not to say there aren't parents who know how their kids are. There are some that simply raise them to be that way. I would say 95% of the situations my children have had, have been resolved. Once that kid saw that their mother was going to confront the situation and bust them out, they had second thoughts about picking on my children. So, please, don't wait for things to brew and escalate, handle the situation and make it stop. It's your child that has to go to school and face these people. "
10/10/2011:
"Bullying is not only a boy's thing, girls are being bullied on the playground at school also. I also tried talking to the teacher to no avail. So far this year, it does not seem too bad yet. I do keep my eyes & ears open though. "
10/10/2011:
"my 11 year old son has been home schooled for the last 21/2 years because of a nearly identical problem. your story reads so much like my sons situation. i knew that suicide would be the likely outcome, so i withdrew him from the school, taught him myself to finish out the year, and thankfully found a wonderful online charter school that is like private education. taking him out of that school, and away from the torment and terror he faced daily not only saved his life, but saved enough pieces of the "old him" making it easier to put him back together. which is not easy by any means. my son changed on every level so fast. from personality to the very structure of his body and face. much like people with traumatic brain injuries often "change" in appearance, behavior and so on. my condolences to you and your wife. and a suggestion, you MUST sue the bullies parents, the principal, school staff involved, and the district! while nothing will fill the void of his loss, his face a! nd story will be a powerful statement of what bullying really does. "
10/10/2011:
"I agree with Mr. Smalley 3,000 percent! Something has to be done and the parents of the bullies definitely should be held accountable for their children's actions. EVERY child deserves the right to attend school without fear; the small ones, the ones with glasses, the gay ones, the straight ones, the ones who stutter, the ones with down syndrome, etc... The victims parents are not mind-readers, therefore will never know how close to the edge their bullied children may be. Bullies must be removed from their schools period!!! Strike 3 and you're out. Kids who are just downright mean, rude and live to torture other children must be REMOVED!!! My prayer is not to hear about another life lost because of bullying when the school administrators CAN do something about it. God forbid, but must we wait until the victim is the child of a School Superintendent? I love children so very much and my heart hurts for the Smalleys and the Rodemeyers of the world. These parents have lost their! children forever; it is not a dream, it's a living nightmare for these parents. My prayers are with them and I want to do all that I can to help the movement. It's time for change! "
10/10/2011:
"I am so sorry to hear of Ty's tragic and unnecessary death, and so supportive of The Smalley's battle. I began a tolerance program in my own school district to battle similar troubles involving bullying and hate crimes my son endured. I work against bullying both professionally as a psychologist and privately. I was happy to see the article on Ty at Great Schools website, however, I continue to guide professionals and parents away from Great Schools, due to the fact that when I wrote in about my son's experience, I was told that they were unable to publish the information because they had no way of verifying my statements. I have since viewed numerous postings on this site that would seem to be unverified and yet posted. Because of this, I do not look to Great Schools for "real" information on schools, as I am skeptical of what is edited out of ever appearing on this site. "
10/10/2011:
"Bullying should be everyone's concern. I agree with Mr. Smalley that Parents should be held accountable for their child's actions.Victims should have to put up with hostile environments, they want to learn and not be harassed by another child.It is time we hold people accountable for their actions and STOP punishing those who want to make things right. We send the wrong message when we allow bullying to continue and not do anything about it. This is no different than a terrorist coming into our country and trying to change how we live.Bullies terrorize other children and they should be punished for their crime. "
10/10/2011:
"Tragic story and my heart goes out to anyone who suffers the loss of a child in any circumstance. My opinion differs from that of the author in that the parents of a bullied child should seek to discuss the issue with the parents of the bully as well as having the kids present. If we do not take accountability ourselves to change the situation, what hope have we of discharging that duty to schools, police, etc. "
10/10/2011:
"Dear father of Ty, I was so very sorry to learn what happened to your sweet son back in May last year. This can happen to anybody, bullying is not new. I was bullied back 25 years ago, the difference was that I was one of the biggest (can you believe it) and after some physical encounters, most of the bullies and scammers left me alone mostly. But that's not the case for everybody. I was wondering: have you thought bringing a legal action against these people that with their behavior of not doing anything about their terrible kid/killer are physically and mentally jeopardizing your and other kids? I would definitely do that, I would also go as far as go myself to principal, districts and bring even against them legal action. Think about opening a petition on Change.org, you can even write to Ac360 on CNN. You might've already done that. Nothing would bring your poor son, but you might at least save others from that unfortunate fate.:( I'll pray for you and your cause with all my heart, I wish ! I could help you with something. If you happen to be in New Jersey, maybe we can join forces and create a movement or whatever is called to bring attention to that painful problem. God be with you, be strong, you're not alone. "
10/10/2011:
"Hi my name is Audrey and my daughter had stared getting bullied last year. She has gone from school to school only to have one of the students that is apart of the group she's being bullied by to get kicked out and placed with her. I have tried to contact and have notified teachers, counselors, the principles, as well as other administrators including the board. The first response I've received was when I was contacted by the administrators to make sure my children were in school for count day. Last school year she too was suspended after being bullied for months for defending herself. She stayed out 10 weeks until the board concluded she would be able to come back to school after our meeting. She was placed on probation. Please tell me what can be done about this? "
10/10/2011:
"It doesn't matter what you do because the kids that are bullies are the ones that don't care if they get suspended or something. "
10/10/2011:
"I took care of a bully in school before he tried to bully me and he never came up to me for the whole year. "
10/10/2011:
"the part wrong here is that the school should have or apply the same rules than our society or streets and I know becaue I try to protect myself from a crazy woman but I was the one who ended bad, it is sad but bullies are everywhere, I figured out she may be a bully because I never did anything to her, just been friendly and say hello to her brother and young cousin that was thw whole reason for hate me...amazing "
10/10/2011:
"Bullying is an issue in schools and in neighborhoods. The bullies derive their power because those around react and provide the power. It is most important that we empower students to overcome bullying. The biggest factor in empowering students is to teach them that no one can drag them down, and that they are not defined by what other people say. Bullies also have to be held accountable by the schools. "
10/10/2011:
"Thank you for your story, and my heart goes out to you for your unimaginable loss. I never knew bullying would be so pervasive in our society nor that it would start so young! My 3 year old boy was in preschool at a private, small school. He was the smallest in his class of 10 (7 boys), and one other boy in particular constantly harassed him. I approached the teacher many times to please be extra vigilant about this other boy. To my shock, my 3 year old came home with a broken foot one day from school (the school didn't know it was broken, never even called me), and he told me that this same boy who had bullied him all year had pushed him so hard on the playground that his foot broke as a result. The school claimed no one saw anything, and that these things happen with kids. An attorney I contacted said there was nothing I could do since I hadn't put my concerns in writing to the teacher; I had only spoken orally with her about this. Anyway, my son was "held back" thi! s school year to alleviate the problem in his class with this bully. Why is it that the schools do nothing, as you said punish the victims, and treat this as normal boy behavior? I will never be the same mom again, and I support your cause! "
10/10/2011:
"I am so sorry for the pain the Field family has endured, but I stand behind how they are advocating. I hope that one day the school laws are revised to better protect a 'victim.' "
10/10/2011:
"Absolutely!! "It's that way only b/c we allow it to be that way". The schools say 'zero tolerance' but what their zero tolerance is, is to disruption in the day to day operations of the school. Its so much easier to make EVERYONE equally responsible..that way, you won't have to take a stance on doing the right thing or take anyone's side. Our high school daughter has been 'bullied' by girls AND boys at her school w/ comments about her weight. Our daughter will not defend herself or speak up. We've have always taught out children to stick up for themselves, to call someone out on their wrong behavior. We've always taught our children to try and resolve conflicts on their own. BUT, we've always reminded them that if they couldn't resolve the problem or if things were getting worse, to come to us (or another adult) and get help. So our daughter told us that the hurtful comments were continuing and that things were getting worse. She said she had been trying to resolve the 'prob! lem' but wasn't working. I went to her team advisers, told them the basic issue without mentioning names or laying blame and asked if they would speak to our daughter about it. The next day, numerous students were called into the v.p.'s office, one by one. The v-principal had called out the 'National Guard' so to speak. It was ALL over the school. The drama was horrendous. Somehow, the students had found out it was me who had contacted the advisers with my concern. I couldn't believe the backlash!! I attempted to meet with the v.p. twice, in order to express my concern over the level of backlash (towards our daughter and myself). I also wanted to discuss with her that I could understand why parents would hesitate to do the right thing and not report bullying. The v.p. has not returned my calls. Since that day, the comments to our daughter have increased and her team frequently throws her 'under the bus' when anything comes up that they don't want to take the blame for. Our ! daughter continues to be a frequent target of crude rumors. I ! have tried every which way to explain to my daughter that SHE is the victim, not the bullies. She as said she doesn't believe it and that she will never tell me anything again. It's wrong...all of it. Trying to do the right thing in our corrupt society only brings grief to the very one who needs to be protected. I'm sickened. "
10/10/2011:
"Im so sorry for your loss. OOOhh my God, I was so touched by this report and I do agree about the way to stop bullying. I know the father must suffer and remember his son loss every time he talks about bullying and every day for the rest of his life. I cant imagine loosing one of my kids for somehing like this. The place you go to learn can bring can bring such a tragedy. I do agree with him the parents must be held accountable for their kids actions. "
10/10/2011:
"I have a child right now that's been bullied at school. I'm homeschooling her now. The administrator told me if the football players bullied her anymore, they would be "benched" at the next game. I asked what would happen if she defended herself, he said she would be suspended. "
10/10/2011:
"God Bless Mr. Smalley! Our daughter was assaulted at a music camp in Greenborro, NC. There were no adults around and my daughter was tripped by a boy who had previously harassed her at school. The nurse asked her if she wanted to file a report and failed to diagnose her fractured wrist. The camp director would do nothing to assist us. I had to enlist other people to help me. To this day they have not followed up to let me know about the policy changes they promised they would make to protect children in the future. I had to become my own attorney and pursue them. God Bless you and what you are doing in memory of Ty! A different attitude needs to be adopted. Mr. Smalley's work is to be commended. "
10/10/2011:
"Such a sad story. My heart goes out to Smalleys. My son was bullied in elementary school also. We went through the same channels as the Smalleys and got no results. The first time our boy faught back against his primary bully, the bully's necklace broke and the Principal tried to make our son pay for it! That is just one example. It finally got so bad that we took him out of that district. We also transferred to a different high school district later on to avoid the bullys'. Our son went to counseling for a few years, but the scars were and are deep. I think it has shaped who he is. He is a lovely, intelligent, funny person, but the pain is there and it has made him a bit of a loner with. It makes me so sad. I think what the Smalley's are doing, in Ty's memory, is so courageous and important. Bless them both. I am very sorry for their loss. "
10/10/2011:
"New Jersey has a new anti-bullying law. The school my children attend said this wouldn't matter because they are very proactive and aware of what occurs in the school. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children do not report bullying because they know it will only make the bullying worse. Do the administrators truly believe what they are telling the parents, or does it just make their job easier to say they already have a handle on this when children suffer every day? "
10/10/2011:
"Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. He should have never been bullied, and forced into feeling that taking his own life was the end all and only escape from the bullying. I have a 7 year old daughter that last year was bullied at school, sexually by two other girls the same age. We still struggle with her confidence each and every day. I honestly hate the fact that bullies are allowed to continue to go to school, if it's a zero tolerance policy why should our children be threatened and feel unsafe to go to school? I know they can't kick the kids that are the bullies, since that "No Child Left Behind Law" kicked in, but why can't they seperate them, put them all together, in a "alternative type" program/school. Our kids should not ever have to suffer. Again, I am terrible sorry for the loss of your son. So unnecessary. Tragic, and heart breaking. You are doing a good thing, spreading the word and trying to stop this from ever happening again. God Bless! "
10/10/2011:
"My heart goes out to Ty's family. You'd think after all the history of bullying in the world and the impact it's had (think everything from kids thru to Hitler, Stalin et al), "society" wld take this seriously. How incompetent and uncaring of the school administrators to do NOTHING to curb the impact of this bullying child. He sadly will probably also come to a bad end. Are his parents not doing anything? "
10/10/2011:
"I can't imagine the grief this father must be feeling. Certainly, a good deal of kids and adults out there have been bullied during their lives with no recourse. I'm afraid the "zero tolerance policy" which results in punishing the victims is, unfortunately, the way things are done in this country. Victims are punished for asking for justice--both at school, at work and in the justice system. If anyone can figure a way to punish the offender without causing further injury to the victim, that would be a miracle. "
10/10/2011:
"I support Mr. Smalley's approach wholeheartedly. The rulemakers should put themselves in the position of victim. "
10/10/2011:
"My dgtr goes to Donnie Bickham Middle School. The school is fully aware of the bullying going on there against her but refuse to do anything about it. We need to hold the school & personnel plus the parents of a bully equally responsible. It doesn't matter if it is just trying to make a child feel like an outsider or actual physical abuse - bullying is bullying! It has to be stopped no matter what. "
10/10/2011:
"Rockwood School District in MO has an incredibly effective character education program - please look them up - they are the forefront of social change. Bullying was a dominant problem in our lives for years ... until we changed schools. Rockwood puts bullies in a mandatory character building program (giving them the attention and the prosocial skills they need)- if the kid does not shape up they are transferred to an entirely different "school district" within Rockwood. In the class room - each child is given a set of behavior tokens - when they are gone the kid goes to the principals office ... On the other hand, to encourage positive behavior - if no one looses a token for the day the teacher puts a marble in a jar. When the jar is full the entire class celebrates with a party of some sort (pajama day, or pizza ...)This puts social pressure on everyone to behave, and takes power away from the trouble makers. In addition, when a student shows remarkably good behavior they ! are honored with special recognition. The child goes to the principles office for a prize from the treasure box, and their name gets announced on the loud speaker ... I am trying to give a lot of information in a short time - but this program saved my family's life and I must give praise to this accomplishment. The school is remarkable ... My son is able to thrive in an environment that appreciates and rewards his good behavior. (BTW - the school we left was a private parochial school - how ironic) "
10/10/2011:
"This is a very sad situation. I have encountered some of the same bullying issues against my daughter. It went on from 1st to 2nd grade. The principal made it seem as if my daughter did something to dserve the treatent. I went to region about it and they were reluctant to give me a school transfer in spite of. The teacher, principal were very iresponsible as far as my child was concerned. The only help was from God. My child got accepted into magnet school and was pulled immediately. This is definitely something I would be a part of espcially since my daughter encountered verbal and physical bullying with incident report being made. My prayers go out to your family. "
10/10/2011:
"My heart just aches thinking about this sweet faced young man feeling that things were so hopeless, that life was so horrible to face that he'd take his life being so, so young. Not even knowing when you get to be an adult that you realize how insignificant and idiotic these 'bullies' are. This all starts at home! Unfortunately, there are people who should NOT be parents, their children are a means to an end for them; maybe a bigger welfare payout or something to that effect or just too lazy, irresponsible to take birth control but their children are the least of their concerns and priorities. I've seen children whose parents are drunks, pill poppers (or whatever drug they happen to worship) and they don't offer their child/ren love, a home, security,moral support for their lives or education or future. It's so sad and frustrating to me! I used to wake up with nightmares of all the children out in the world being raised in such unloving, abusive, unsafe environments and my dr. at the time told me to completely quit watching the news. I love children so very much, have always felt I should be a voice for them and would fill my home with kids if I could; I have so much love to offer them. I feel we could make our world a wonderful place if we just cared for the children in it; they'll grow up to be well adjusted adult. Prayers for this family for strength, for peace and strength to follow this path of making something good come from such a tragic event in their lives. God Bless! "
10/10/2011:
"The school system and his parents should have been held accountable. I hate when administrators look the other way and parents pretend they do not know what's going on. Arrest the parents and that would be a good start to put an end to bullying. "
10/10/2011:
"I admire what you are doing. I am 42 and till this day remember the bullying received in Jr.High. The memories scare me for my two elemetary children. You are so right;regarding administrators and parents need to be held responsible, these child bullies will grow up to be workplace bullies or worse, criminals as they grown older. "
10/10/2011:
"I am so sorry for your son and the loss your family had to endure. It never should have come to that. As a mother of a 9yr old that was bullied in 2nd grade and my first grade son who is bullied by choking him on the bus... I understand that pain. I have taken both to the administration and for my oldest it stopped but for my youngest it continues....I pray that one day the schools will catch on andrealize thatyou do NOT hurt the victim andyou take immediate action on the bully. A little suspension usually will NOT fix the problem "
10/10/2011:
"After watching the short film...the children enjoying school...and...the children who could not,my heart wept. The lives of so many of our children that are lived in fear. This is supposed to be the happiest and most carefree time of their lifes. How unfair it is that some children can and do ruin this time for them. I AGREE!!!! Punish the parents or atleast make them aware of what their child is doing. AS THE FIRST STEP!!! This world is so busy with both parents working, maybe they just don't know. They will want to do something if that is the case. Give the parents a chance to correct this and then if they don't, someone else MUST step in. Child protection laws must be enforced at whatecver age the "Law breaker is." "
10/10/2011:
"I'm sorry for Ty and his parents, I went through alot with my son being bullied in Elementary. Until one day my son was attacked from behind, knocked down and kicked on his sides by one student. We got the police involved that very day day contacted a attonery. The school ended up kicking that attacker out of our school district. They told us the boy had a bad home life. My son is now 21years old and in the Army and still talks about that day. Him being in the office with police and I hadn't even been contacted yet. Marshal was crying in the office when I got there and he said to me "Mom can we just go home?" He was oly in 3rd grade at the time. He was afraid to got back to school, I kept him home with me for a couple of days. Sometimes I wonder what that attackers Mother felt like. "
10/10/2011:
"I abhor bullying. That being said, we are all - or should all be - taught to be responsible for our own actions. To continue to blame bullies for suicides and depression and hurt feelings is absolutely passing the buck and it's wrong. Give your kids tools and support along the way and instill in them the reality that others' words and actions are out of their control. I have empathy for those who lost kids due to their childrens' choices to kill themselves, but it is NOT the fault of bullies. It was a personal choice for their children and just as we can't control bullies, we also can't always control the thoughts and actions of our own kids, no matter how much we may want to do that at times. "
10/10/2011:
"This just breaks my heart! As a parent of 2 children who were bullied I found other things that the schools do that are wrong for the victim..... 1. When my son was being bullied on the bus the solution was to put him on another bus going past our hose instead of denying the bully the right to ride the bus. This solution did backfire when yet another boy on the same bus was bullied after my son was removed....by the same bully. 2. Because of privacy rights the victim of bullying has no right to know the punishment that their bully got. In a court of law you are permitted to see your criminal's punishment for their crime....but not in school. You never really know if they are punished or not. 3. May incidents of violence are considered accidents. If you stick your leg out and trip someone it was an accident. If it happens multiple times by the same person it is considered bullying. 4. The he said, she said. Many times the bully will lie and say the the victim did something to deserve the bullying. Many times they will not get punished without witnesses....many of which refuse to come forward to tell the truth. "
10/10/2011:
"As a retired Kinder teacher, I know that this kind of behavior starts very early...and it is the job of everyone at the school to stop it. Parents need to be held accountable, and schools need to be held accountable too -- too often they turn a blind eye and refuse to take action. This is such a tragedy, and my heart goes out to Ty's parents and all who loved him. "
10/10/2011:
"My daughter was sitting next to a girl on the school.bus in 3rd grade. This girl would use the nintendo ds to write hateful things about my daughter and with the chat function send messages to other kids on the bus about my daughter.... "stupid, ugly, etc ..." ... The bus driver had no idea because it was happening silently. I first coached her how to confront the girl directly and when it continued after that, I called the bus co and requested a seat reassignment for my daughter. That evening after the other girls' parents were home, my daughter and I walked down to the other young girl's house. I told her dad who I was and asked if he was aware of what his daughter had been doing on the bus, fully expecting that he would be shocked and would take parental measures to correct her behavior and aplogize for his daughter's actions. Instead he asked me why I was telling him of this and went on to say "kids will be kids." My response to him gave him pause. I said to him, "with all due respect, parents must be parents. If you leave it up to kids to raise themselves, they might very well choose to eat cake and ice cream for breakfast, that wouldnt make it right, would it?".... Then I went on to explain to him that my role as a parent didnt stop with giving birth, I must teach them, and I must protect them. I told him I was there in my role as parent to protect my daughter just as he was in defending his daughter. I stopped short from an all-out threat, but I was firm in telling him that further displays would be met by further action by me and I would not be shy about taking every measure necessary to make school a safe environment for my daughter. We never had another incident. I have no idea if the parent demanded a change from his child or if the girl simply found another victim that was easier. "
10/10/2011:
"Bullying is a serious problem affecting millions of children every year. 19,000 children attempt to commit suicide every year as a direct result of being bullied. Because of this, I have developed a bully prevention school show called "The STOP Bullying Show". Students learn about the different types of bullying, the importance of adult intervention, and 4 very specific things they can do to put a stop to bullying. Highlights of the program can be seen here... http://youtu.be/2qAvD01RD9E http://www.StopBullyingShow.com "
10/10/2011:
"My heart goes out to you for the loss of your son. From his picture he looked like a amazing boy who had a huge heart for others. I have a almost 9 year old son 'Sammy who has been bullied because he has speech problems. I fought and fought with the principle to move him to a different class but he wouldn't. It was a tough year but my husband and I have learned that if it happened again we would go to the superentendent. He still gets made fun of sometimes and his friends have also been bullied alot. We as parents need to all get together and take a stand for our kids and after reading about your son I will do it in honor of him. God Bless Heidi "
10/10/2011:
"I'm not trying to be morbid or nosy, but I'm curious how an 11 year old kills himself. It seems to have been wiped from every story. Not trying to open a can of worms -- I just can't imagine that my 11 year old son would have a clue and we don't keep guns in the house. "
10/10/2011:
"Ty's bully and his parents should be imprisoned and kept in the same cell together for the same number of years Ty attended that school. Also the administrator to whom Ty's parents appealed to should lose his job and banned from a similar position. "
10/10/2011:
"why punish the bully's parents? What can the parents do? where I live, taxes are so high parents work so many hours they hardly get to see their kids. Most of the kids' waking hours are spent in school, where there are (supposedly) professionals in the field of education. Paid professionals. Where is their accountability? "
10/10/2011:
"bulling is not a right of passage its wrong for the anyone to to put down or demeaned its just wrong "
10/10/2011:
"My daughter was bullied and harassed for an entire school year and the administration reacted the same impotent way. Finally we pulled her out of the school which angers me still since the school should've have asked these girls to leave. This happened at a French school in Los Angeles. "
10/10/2011:
"I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that your crusade does help. My honest opinion is that it won't, just like the no tolerance for bullying. Unfortunately you have to teach your kids to stand up for themselves. Teachers and the school tell the victims don't be a taddle tale. Children are getting mixed messages. They can't protect themselves because they will get in trouble and they also can't tell anyone because they will think that the are a taddle taler... "
10/10/2011:
"I completely agree with your stance on bullying. My son sounds remarkably like yours. I worry about him all the time. We have only had one instance (so far) with bullying and the school was swift to respond. But I never heard from the childs parents. It starts at home. There should be a zero tollerance law for parents of bullies as well. Good luck on "The Bully Project". You have many supporters out here that are greatful for your courage. And I'm SO very sorry for your loss! "
10/10/2011:
"Has bullying really become a bigger problem or have our children become wimps who don't know how to stand up for themselves? I've told my son he will never get in trouble with me for standing up to a bully, even if he gets suspended for fighting back. Zero-tolerance policies are really zero-intelligence policies. "
10/10/2011:
"My daughter has Aspergers. Kids like her are the perfect target for bullies. I have seen it over and over again where the school takes no responsibility and denies they knew it was happening. The laws in Texas are such that each teacher and administrator can not be legally responsible for any decision or lack of decision they make. This needs to change. They need to stop paying lip service to bullying and actually do something when it happens and not put the burden of proof on the victim and then say they won't be involved because it is a "he says she says" kind of situation. Thank you for taking and stand and fighting for all the children who are in this situation. You are very brave and very kind. Angela "
10/10/2011:
"I'd first like to give my condolences on the loss of your so. But, I must agree on allowing the victim to forcefully protect their self. In the USA we have a Constitutional right to protect our- selves from harm. The Schools are taking taht right away from our children every day. My son has been bullied too and is afraid of suspension if he defends his self. The educational elitists believe we should ignore these parasites but, I do not. I tell my son he may need to use physical force to get his point across to the bully. You see I too was bullied through out High School than I finally got the courage to beat the crap out of this person. Well needless to say after that fight she never even looked at me the wrong way again. My Dad always told me the bigger they are the harder they fall and he was right. I will be sending my son to Boxing classes this fall to learn self confidence and self defence. If the school we attent suspends my son for defending himself I will! call a lawyer and SUE the school district. On the grounds that he has a Constitutional Right to defend himself. My Son will not be turned into a Whimp by the Liberal school system. "
10/10/2011:
"Bravo, Mr. Smalley! I often hear parents of school bullies comment, "that child (the victim) should be stronger." The parents cannot see their bullying child's behavior or their own. Teachers often minimize situations because they lack the skills to handle the situation. Most at risk of becoming bullies are children who excel in sports, gifted students, and children who were bullied themselves. In stead of "boys will be boys" or "que sera," I'd like to see ownership of citizenship, and an attitude of "to whom much is given, much is required." Girls can also bully in a different manner called relational aggression. Either way is wrong. "
10/10/2011:
"I just went through an incident similarly with my son, althoug it did not end as tragically. My heart goes out to Ty's family. My son has been bullied repeatedly by the same boy since we moved to Az. It had mostly been name calling, but this year turned physical, sometimes very inappropriately. My son finally sttod up to him; the boy slapped him so my son hit back. The bully got in school suspension for 2 days, my son got 1 day. I wish I had seen this sooner. "
10/10/2011:
"I believe it is everyone's responsibility to remove bullying from all schools. Parents of bullies need to be held accountable, after all, intolerance, hate, prejudice and bad behaviors are learned. Children that are being bullies need to be removed from the system and not allowed back until they, along with their parents have been to classes and counseling about what it is they are all doing wrong. Or perhaps the bullying kid should just stay home and do virtual school. The victim should never be suspended or get into any trouble!! They are the victim. Zero tolerance should be 100% against the bully, which does not seem to be the case. In my daughters middle school here in Florida, the victim always gets in trouble too. There have been at least 3 of her classmates that have left school to home school as nothing was really ever done to the bully. Wake up parents and teachers... very little, if anything is actually being done to help this problem. Time to crack down and toughen up! "
10/10/2011:
"I think that this bully is cruel selfish and feeds on other peoples pain and suffering I hate to see people killing themselves because of these cruel people. I hope this family gets justice for what this bully has done to this poor elementary child... "
10/10/2011:
"I am so sorry for what has happened to this family. I think they SHOULD sue their school district because such suits set precedence that genuinely does assist in changing cultural norms. If the Smalleys don't want to seem to profit from their tragedy they can donate the money I hope they'd win to charity -- in particular to groups that advocate strong anti-bully policies in schools nationwide. I believe a lawsuit in this case would be an honorable thing to do. "
10/10/2011:
"wow "
10/10/2011:
"my daughter was bullied all thur middle school. i went to the school got nothing in return. but when she defended herself she was the one that got in trouble not the bully. since then she has learned to stick up for herself and finds a teacher that will care there is a few that will stick up for them. sadly tho its a daily thing. girls can be really mean and my daughter got really depressed and had to have therapy for while. she is doing good now in first year of highschool so for its good keep fingers crossed. ive dealt with so many bullies for my kids and the parents are bullies also....sad your son had to endure this and more sad he is gone now. and kudos to you both for doing the bully project. god bless "
10/10/2011:
"I would like to know more about this organization. I am dealing with my 12 yr old daughter being bullied by a boy of the same age. I feel helpless the everytime I try to stop it nothing is working. He is never disciplined for what he is doing to my daughter. It is getting worse since now she won't eat, doesn't want to go to school and when she is nervous or worried she breaks out with fever blisters on her lips. She has had blisters twice since the first day of school and that is exactly how long this bully has been picking on my daughter. I physically exhausted from trying everything. I now have to meet with the school police, principle, the bully and his grandmother, and my daughter. Which meeting with the grandmother didn't work before and the school police said they can't do anything until he puts his hands on her again. He already touched her behind and said nasty things. I just want it all to end. "
10/10/2011:
"I agree that there needs to be more focus & emphasis on anti-bullying at school. My daughter is constantly bullied but she never tells the teacher out of fear of retaliation or because she thinks the teachers do not believe her. There are so many adult who have this concept that kids should learn how to work out their own issues. I totally disagree and feel that in many situations adults should separate kids and tell them when and what their bahavior means. Instead they turn the other way and kids unfortunately end up feeling more isolated and more intimated, sometimes resulting in some kids chosing to take their own life. Bullying starts at a young age and typically in the household so if no one is attempting to address the behvior the bully gains more power over those who show they may be weaker and easily controlled. Parents of bulies need to talk to their child about their behavior! "
10/10/2011:
"Yes we need to change the laws, until then sue the pants off the family of the bully. Take everything they have and show then what it like to loose everything they have to live for. I hate bullies and if I ever find out my kids become one I will yank them out of school so fast. My heart is with the Smalley family. "
10/10/2011:
"This is ridiculous how can 1 person be so mean, we need to put a stop to all of this bullying , that bully should have had a longer , more worse punishment. "
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