Stand for the Silent was started in 2010 by a group students from the Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City Upward Bound Chapter after they heard the story of Kirk and Laura Smalley’s son, Ty Field-Smalley. At eleven years-old, Ty took his own life after being suspended from school for retaliating against a bully that had been bullying him for over two years.
Stand for the Silent exists as a platform to allow Kirk and Laura to share their story and offer education and tools that will prevent their tragedy from happening to another child and family. Kirk and Laura’s mission is to continue to change kids’ lives and bring awareness of bullying and the real devastation it causes. Since May 2010, Kirk and Laura Smalley have traveled to hundreds of schools and spoken with more than 580,000 kids. In March 2010, Kirk and Laura met privately with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in The White House prior to attending the first ever White House conference on bullying. Their story is featured in Director Lee Hirsch’s feature film, Bully. Kirk and Laura have been invited to a number of conferences on bullying and met with Lady Gaga this spring at the launch of the Born This Way Foundation.
The Stand For The Silent (SFTS) program addresses the issue of school bullying with an engaging, factual, and emotional methodology. With the help of student leaders, Kirk Smalley presents his inspirational story, and students are shown first-hand the life and death consequences of bullying. Through this unique approach, lives are changed for the better. Students, some for the first time, develop an empathetic awareness through education and understanding.
The goal of the program is to start a SFTS chapter at each participating site. Each chapter consists of a group of students committed to change. These students will no longer stand for their peers to suffer at the hands of a bully. At the end of each event, pledge cards are given to those who agree to stand for the silent. The pledge speaks of respect and love…hope and aspiration. Above all, it illustrates the main lesson taught through the Stand For The Silent program: I AM SOMEBODY.
Bright Horizons and O’Neill High School Bully Prevention Group are proud to be hosting Kirk and Laura Smalley. These honored guests will be traveling to area schools September 10th – 14th to find out more about what schools they will be visiting, check the Events section of the website. Visit www.standforthesilent.org for more information on how to support these parents fighting to end bullying.