John Halligan, father of a 15-year-old Essex boy who committed suicide after incessant bullying in 2003, will be presenting his “Bullying, Cyberbullying and Youth Depression” on Thursday at the Spaulding Auditorium at 7 p.m.
Mr. Halligan pushed for Vermont’s bullying and suicide prevention law. He also led the passing of a law pertaining to suicide prevention education in public schools. He has been outspoken about the need for more education and prevention of bullying, cyberbullying and teen suicide throughout the United States. You can find more information about him at his website: http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org.
He will be speaking to students during the day, but the evening presentation is for adults — focusing on lessons he learned too late and how parents can be empowered with strategies to take preventive action with their own children.
My friend and I attended a parents night last year and were blown away — I took a page of notes. Parents need to take an active role in helping change the culture that encourages standing by and doing nothing as well as bullying. The days of “boys will be boys” and “just punch them in the nose and they’ll not bother you again” are gone. We, as parents, need to be equipped with as much information as possible to keep our children safe and focused on learning, rather than just enduring the school day.
I hope to see you there.
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