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Middle School Students Learn About Ryan’s Story

Students at H.B. Thompson and South Woods middle schools got a firsthand account of the effects of bullying when John Halligan visited both schools.

Credit: Syosset School District
Credit: Syosset School District
Students at H.B. Thompson and South Woods middle schools got a firsthand account of the effects of bullying when John Halligan visited both schools on Dec. 19. In 2003, Halligan’s son, Ryan, committed suicide at the age of 13 because of relentless bullying. In 2004, Halligan played an integral role in getting the Vermont Bully Prevention Law signed by the governor. 

The PTA-sponsored event emphasized the need to be an upstander rather than a bystander, as well as the lasting effects that cyberbullying and bullying can have. Halligan’s presentation showed students how he turned a tragedy into a quest to inspire others, and that forgiveness is possible. His story gave students a unique perspective into the power that bullying has and the effect of suicide on a family.

The presentation was part of an ongoing and comprehensive character education and bully prevention initiative at both schools that seeks to educate and empower students to make positive decisions and create a supportive learning environment.
Joe Mahoney January 05, 2014 at 08:20 AM
have a "bully box" in the school where a victim of bullying can leave a note

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