A presentation by Kirk Smalley, whose son committed suicide after being bullied, is now airing on the City government access channels - 5 CITY-TV and 10 Health (Time Warner Cable channels 5 and 10). The Oklahoma man was in Lincoln for a March 22nd program at the BryanLGH College of Health Sciences, co-sponsored by the School Community Intervention and Prevention Program. The channels also will air a one-on-one interview with Smalley.
Smalley and his wife Laura of Perkins, Oklahoma started an anti-bulling" campaign after their 11-year-old son Ty committed suicide in May 2010. He had been suspended from school for pushing another child who had bullied him for years. Students at Oklahoma State University started a Facebook page in his honor called "Stand for the Silent,"and it has become an international movement. The Smalleys have spoken at about 375 schools, and the Lincoln visit was part of a 10-day tour across Nebraska.
The channels also are airing a lecture by Dr. Susan Swearer, professor of school psychology at UNL and Co-Director of the Bullying Research Network. Her lecture was titled "The Real Truth About Bullying Prevention and Intervention: What Can Parents, Teachers and Students Do?" Swearer was unable to attend the March 22nd program at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, so the lecture was presented by Dr. Eve Brank, her colleague in the Psychology Department.
According to the American Justice Department, one out of every four children is victim of bullying, and at least two children are bullied every seven minutes. AmeriCorps and ServeNebraska are sponsoring "Nebraska Stand for the Silent" Friday April 20 and are asking schools and other organizations to observe a seven-second moment of silence, recite an anti-bullying pledge and release balloons. More information is available at serve.nebraska.gov.
5 CITY-TV and 10 Health also are running public service announcements for "Stand for the Silent" and plan to air other anti-bullying presentations. Program schedules for 5 CITY-TV and 10 Health are available at lincoln.ne.gov. The program on Kirk Smalley also can be viewed through video-on-demand and the YouTube sites for 10 Health and 5 CITY-TV.
Programming on 10 Health is made possible by a grant from the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln.