bully, bullying, Kirk smalley

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October 4th, 2010
06:00 AM ET
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Lill

    Bob K & Shirley Markowitz your disturb me. Judging by your statements, I don't think either of you could understand the damage done to children through bullying. If you are able to make such cold, callous statements after seeing this man grieving for his 11 year old son, I imagine you may possess the same traits as many bullies, no empathy. SM, Ty Smalley may have had access to a gun and had he not, he probably would have hung himself, as have numerous other children who have endured the viciousness of their peers.

    Bullying may never stop, but bullies now need to be held accountable.

    It is time for people to stand with Kirk and others who are calling for laws to be made against bullying. One day it may be your child.

    October 14, 2010 at 2:51 am |
  2. Tami

    I am sorry to hear that happened. My daughter not only got bullied by 6 boys but also by the teacher and princaple. I started fear my childs safty at school and kept her home. She was being blamed for all of it and nothing happened to any of the people. I pray you acomplish all you can. I would love to be one of those ones with a voice.

    October 5, 2010 at 3:48 am |
  3. Pat

    I was bullied in my youth in the 1970’s by other students who were in the position to do so because of their size. Having left inner city schools to attend a new district because the environment in the inner city was not where my parents wanted us to be based on the crime, the move to suburban schools was a breath of fresh air. However, because I was smaller than the majority of students at the new school, I was the target. Fresh meat as I appeared, and over the course of 2 years my parents were unaware that I was being the victim of those who felt they needed to show their superiority, and believed I would not say anything. Of course, the fear of what could happen was constantly on my mind. I was hit on the arm and my leg in band class while others ignored the situation and when the band teacher was not looking. Why should I say anything, at 4'10" compared to a 6' moron, so why not?

    Another student attempted to drown me during swim class, yes drown me. Not hold me under for a moment and pull me up, he was determined hold me under until I stopped all the while the gym teacher was occupied elsewhere (and that student is a college professor at a university). I guess I was at a point to save myself or just give up, but his jewels were more important than his moment of dominance. No I have not forgotten those who bullied me as I survived the ordeal, but suffered the ramifications.

    The bullying all stopped one day when my mother noticed my left arm had an enormous bruise on my bicep. Who do you fear most, the bully or your parents? Had she not noticed, the bullying would have continued. However, she made it known to the school district, a few lawyers, and a promise to inform the media of whom, what, and when if the bullying did not stop.

    The school counselor pulled me into his office and had the audacity to ask "why did you not say anything?" It's not hard to stop bullying, but it is a lack of knowledge, concern, and training. Had the bullying not stopped, something extremely more serious would have occurred.

    So if you have not been a victim of bullying, don't jump to conclusions and believe you know it all, because you're just as ignorant as the bully.

    October 5, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  4. Ben

    I laud and honor Mr. Smalley – kids are tormented in elementary through to high school and IT MUST STOP !! How can I get in touch with Kirk Smalley – there is no website information – I want to join the cause and campaign right along side him. Thank god this is finally happening ! Children are so fragile and they just don't have visibility into the bigger picture – its TERRIBLE and bullying MUST STOP ! Kirk I am behind you 100% !

    October 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  5. Meg

    I've read a lot of different perspectives on bullying here, many of which I hadn't taken into account when putting the blame on parents. I would like to comment on the gentleman whose post appears above mine. I hope I am not reading this as your not having sympathy for a father whose just lost his son-It would be sad to think that somebody could make such a callous statement. Not all parents are around their children 24/7 nowadays-even the most educated, such as medical and other professionals or others who are working parents, especially in this economy...and it's undoubtedly one of the contributors to this ever-growing epidemic-but there are many more and something has to be implemented in the educational system to address this issue...just as there's no excuse for domestic violence, there's none for bullying. It's become a crisis for our youngsters-a cry for help and one that needs to be stopped in its tracks-the sooner, the better!

    October 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  6. adele c

    Ty Smalley's story is very sad. My heart goes out to his family. I find the school's reaction and comments offensive. Was it Mr. Smalley's responsibility to report to the school things that happen at school? It seems to me that schools are responsible for our children when they are there. And for them to say "Mr. Smalley did not report the bullying" is very insensitive. Better to say "We were not aware of the bullying." Mr. Smalley's greif is great enough without the school blaming him.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  7. Wrights

    Bob K, you are very heartless.Mr.Smalley can't control what is on TV or in the 6hr classroom alks.
    Suicide is everwhere and this is our enviroment now kids deal with.I have seen kids talk about this at 7yrs of age and you should step in an inner-city classroom. You will be shocked at pretty much everything. Teachers are lost in the war zone in which they have to deal with.
    Congrads to the father that took action. Bully Parents can get involved only after they feel their kids are being spoken to in a harsh way.WAKE UP.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  8. Shirley Markowitz

    Mr. Smalley wants legislation re. bullying. How about legislation to require parents to keep guns out of reach of their children? I thought that already was a crime. What about Mr. Smalley's responsibility and role in this suicide?

    October 4, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  9. Mouse

    Growing up the smallest kid in school, I had lots of experience with bullying. I had to fight to defend myself it seems like almost every day. It finally stopped when people began to realize I could just about beat anyone up. However, the problem was, that because I was having to defend myself, I was targetted by the schools as a problem child. I was in fact considered the bully, and being punished, rather than the people who first instigated the issue. That was probably more damaging than the bullying itself.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  10. Bob K

    How does an 11yo know to commit suicide? I have no sympathy-none for Mr. Smalley. As for bullying – it comes down to the parents. They refuse to acknowledge their kids are bullies. They are also the first to force schools to back down, under the threat of lawsuits, when teachers, or others in the "system" dare take action to stop an individual from bullying others. Parents need to take responsibility for their kids behavior, period.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  11. Howard Flysher

    It's hard to stop bullying in this country. Whether you accept it or not capitalism is based on bullying the opponent. It shows in our stories and movies and even praised when you come out on top. Bullying a person or competion is the American way and is often rewarded.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  12. Marsha

    My comment is on this bullying issue. I get angry when I constantly hear, "what are parents teaching children." Think about this-most parents are lucky to spend 2-3 hrs. a day with their kids, but teachers have them for 6-8 hrs. What example are they setting? All teachers aren't angels, contrary to popular belief. I am a grandparent raising a 14 yr. old boy with ADHD, after having raised 5 children of my own. My grandson has been bullied relentlessly in both elem. and middle schools. His 3rd grade teacher told him in front of the class that he should speak with his dr. about increasing his meds because they weren't working. His classmates heard and learned that it was alright to embarrass kids about their disorder. He reported a bullying incident to a middle school teacher, and was told he needed to "man-up." When he was threatened with suspension for punching a student who had grabbed him in a choke hold at recess, he said to me, "Gram, the school talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk, so next time, I'll make it worth my while to be punished for something I have no control over." He didn't learn this at home--he learned it at school!

    October 4, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  13. Mike

    Just saw the piece on bullying and my heart goes to the Snalley family. As a father and someone who, myself, was once bullied as a kid, I can really empathize. Fortunately I was able to overcome my issues and actually became friends with some of the kids that bullied me. I grew up well adjusted and have become fairly successful in life. I believe it's because of what I had to deal with as a kid. It drove me to be as successful as I could be. Unfortunately not everyone handles it the same way and therefore I agree we need to do something about it. It would be great to do a follow up segment from the bully's point of view. If you can find someone brave enough to admit they were once a bully, it would be good to find out how they feel today and what drove them to be bullies. Are they parents today? If so what are they teaching their kids?

    October 4, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  14. AD20105

    Prayers goes out to the Smalley Family. My son too was bullied during Kindergarten at a Loudoun County School in NVA. I reported it 3 times. The last time I demanded action from the school. They told me that kids are just being kids. I also wrote an email, and never received a reply just a call back. I requested a video on a school bus, where it happened 3 times. The principle gave me number to call for a request. Also told me that it only keeps records for only 2 days. School tend to purposely hide these incidents or push it aside. Even though Ty's school commented that it was never reported. I don't buy it!

    October 4, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  15. Nate

    So sorry for your loss Mr. Smalley. I would recommend people email complaints to their schools, most have email right?, at least that is a written record of sorts.

    I find it reprehensible that a school hides behind bureaucracy but that's standard operating procedure in our litigious society. 😦

    October 4, 2010 at 7:51 am |