Protecting families, children from bullies

Stand for the silent. 

A father who lost his son shared that message with local students on Friday. Kirk Smalley spoke to Lone Oak Middle School students sharing his son Ty’s story. Ty committed suicide at the age of 11 after being bullied.

Smalley’s message is simple, stand stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. He now travels the country, talking with students, and reminding people that bullying knows no boundaries. It can happen anywhere.

One local mother knows that’s true. She says it’s amazing her son is still alive. She’s shared her family’s story with the hope of sparing others the same pain.

Carol Brooks has worn a purple hospital ICU band on her wrist as a reminder for two weeks. She says it’s a promise to her son to never forget and continue to do something, “It just breaks my heart, it tears my heart into pieces.” Brooks’ 12-year-old son felt desperate enough to take his life into his own hands.

Brooks says she knew something was wrong with her son. She knew when he came home if it was a bad day at school or if it was a good day at school. And one day, she knew it was a particularly bad day. She remembers looking at him and took him to the hospital where he was then life-flighted to an emergency children’s wing. “As I looked at him. There was something wrong.”

She says her son felt desperate enough to take his life into his own hands, and remembers what it was like to look at her son with hospital tubing running through his body, “He was there and I had to watch him there with all the tubes, it just killed me.”

The reason, bullying. Brooks says, “Its hard to talk about it because I nearly lost my son.”

But it’s a dialogue co-founder of the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation, Susan Guess says needs to happen, “Its a hard conversation to have and its a hard conversation to hear, but for the sake of our children, we have to have it.”

Both Brooks and Guess’s goal: to protect other children and families from living through unspeakable pain, “Just watching him in the ER, just experiencing the horrific experience”

When Brooks and her son left the hospital, they walked away with a doctors note that recommended ‘home hospital for the patient’s safety, and to lessen his interaction with bullies’.

The attorney for the Graves County School District, where Brooks’ son attended said they, “Take reports of bullying seriously and investigate them to protect the kids involved.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, you’re encouraged to report it to school authorities.

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