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Chino Valley Review | Chino Valley, Arizona

home : features : features April 28, 2016

10/2/2013 8:15:00 AM
Bullied child's story makes big impact on high school students
Kirk Smalley embraced the picture of his eleven-year-old son Ty. “Ty will be eleven years old forever. You don’t get any older when you die, you still have birthdays but you never get any older,” said Smalley.
Kirk Smalley embraced the picture of his eleven-year-old son Ty. “Ty will be eleven years old forever. You don’t get any older when you die, you still have birthdays but you never get any older,” said Smalley.

Geri Kinsley
Special to Review

Chino Valley High School students gathered in the gym on Thursday, Aug. 29, and what they heard has made a big impact on their campus.

The guest speaker was Kirk Smalley of Stand for the Silent. Smalley and his wife, Laura, from Stillwater, Okla., lost their 11-year-old son Ty to suicide after he was suspended from the school where he fought back against a bully that had been picking on him for two years.

The Smalleys are traveling the United States to speak out against bullying. Kirk shared stories of other kids who lost their lives after being bullied by their peers. With the American Sign Language "love" sign raised to help Smalley get through each story, the CVHS students listened and cried along with him. The student council members and Smalley handed out blue "I Am Somebody" bracelets with the letters "sfts" on them to remind each person to Stand for the Silent.

"The assembly made my heart break for Kirk and everything that he and his family were put through. It makes you think about the reality of what bullying does to kids in our society today," said junior Ricky Rodriguez, 2013/2014 Student Council president. "Kirk coming to our school and telling his story really opened up everyone's eyes. Looking across the gym, everyone was so engaged in him. I was extremely proud of our student body and have a feeling this school year will be one for the books!"

Smalley encouraged the students to start their own chapter of Stand for the Silent to keep the movement going in Chino Valley. As of August 23, Ty's parents have talked to 742,000 students and 743 schools, including Chino Valley High School, to stop bullying.

With every student and facility member on their feet and tears in their eyes, Smalley finished with a pledge and a promise. In the weeks that have followed the assembly, the student council members have seen an improvement on the Chino Valley High School campus. They are working with the Stand For The Silent organization to start the first chapter in Arizona at the high school.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: RC Castro

It is not really fun when you are the one that is being bullied. bullying has been the most common issues that is present in every school throughout the world, most of the bullied students suffer from not just physical as well as emotional and psychological distress, this could lower the child's self esteem and confidence. Parents should always make sure that their children is bully free, they must ensure their child safety and security towards this common problem.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: Gloria Rinderman

To try to help combat bullying, children should be taught kindness and tolerance as young as possible. The song “Be a Buddy, not a Bully,”-- for children up to 9 years old-- can be heard on YouTube:

Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013
Article comment by: Louise Keir

I am a custodian for CVHS. I was not in the gym for the assembly but I was setting up the cafeteria next door for lunch. There were quite a few students that had to come in there because they were so emotional from Kirk Smalley's story. I think it has improved the thinking and the actions of our student body.

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