Welcome to TTUT, I am so excited to tell you that in just 2 more days I will be enjoying the company of my co host IA live and in person! I'm sure you've heard me mention it a time or 12 before, I'm just a little excited to see her! And JK, Viv, Becca, Jen, and Connie too of course,w e're gonna tear up California! Go ahead and take just a second to hate me.
I was all prepared with a fun post about our upcoming trip and I was going to link up with Emmy for her 10 Things To Smile About until I attended an event at Honeys school tonight. As a result this will be a serious post...I will not apologize.
We had a guest speaker come to our high school today. He and his wife fly across the country on their own dime to share their story, to help make sure that what happened to them doesn't happen to anyone else.
Kirk and Laura Smalley buried their son 716 days ago after he took his own life on their bedroom floor. He was the victim of bullying. He had enough. He would be celebrating his 12th birthday in just 2 weeks. His name was Ty Smalley.
His Father Kirk gave an emotional talk to the freshman class at Honeys high school this morning and came back again tonight to speak to the public. He was admittedly an unpolished speaker but what he lacked in public speaking finesse he made up in real, raw, passion and heartache.
My girls had the honor of helping him on stage, they read the bio of 2 children who have also ended their pain from bullying by taking their own lives. Honey lead those willing to make a difference in a pledge and Peanut asked a few prepared questions about following through with that commitment.
The statistics that he shared were staggering. Suicide is the number 2 cause of death in children ages 10-24, second only to auto accidents. I had no clue! As this heartbroken father made eye contact with me with tears streaming down his face and asked that I, we, help make this stop I swore to him I would do my part.
Before he spoke he walked to the picture of his son on stage and talked to him, maybe he was praying, either way it was the most emotional thing I have ever witnessed. I sat through his 1 hour program with a painful lump in my throat, a rock in my chest, and tears rolling down my cheeks.
Kirk carries with him a list of 800 names, all children who have killed themselves as a result of bullying. The youngest name on his list...6.
I have to help. I will Stand For the Silent and I know 100% that after listening to this man pour his heart out so will my girls! No child should ever feel so helpless as to believe that their only was out is to end their life and no parent should have to bury their child as a result!
For more information on scheduling a time for the Samlley's to visit your town or to make a donation so they can continue to help others go here.