HALEYVILLE - A father’s hard-earned lesson about cyberbullying and its deadly effects on his son will be brought to Haleyville Middle School during a public event Monday, Nov. 28.
Ryan’s Story is an international program conducted by author John P. Halligan, whose son Ryan committed suicide in 2003, at the age of 13 after being bullied by classmates at school and online.
Halligan is bringing his special message on cyberbullying and suicide to the HMS gym at 6 p.m., and HMS Principal Bo Wilcoxson is urging parents and other concerned residents to attend.
“This is very important,” Wilcoxson said. “The topic is being kind and what cyberbullying is. That’s becoming a bigger issue, obviously, than what it was 10 years ago, because of technology.”
Halligan will also give a presentation at 1 p.m. for middle school students. Halligan will be telling students about the powerful and harmful effects of cyberbullying on the younger age group, Wilcoxson explained.
A different program will be presented at 6 p.m., related more to adults and their role in helping to prevent cyberbullying, school officials said.
“It can be any adult in Haleyville,” Wilcoxson pointed out. “It doesn’t have to be a middle school parent. It’s any adult that’s interested in cyberbullying.”
The presentation will cover the lessons Halligan learned far too late for his family, regarding how to deal with bullying, cyberbullying and teen depression.
The goal is for parents to become empowered with strategies to take preventive actions with their own children, officials said.
“We see cyberbullying happening away from school at night,” Wilcoxson noted. “Two kids get mad at each other and start that then come to school the next day and (are) still mad.
“If it’s brought into school, then we follow the Code of Conduct, the board policy,” Wilcoxson continued. “If we hear of some things that are going on at home that are not appropriate that affects one of our students, we definitely contact the parents and contact the children who are doing it.”
Those with any questions can contact the middle school at (205) 486-9240.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.