Ryan Halligan’s story: School bullying talk hits home

By William Croyle
WARSAW – As John Halligan talked about the suicide of his teenage son, senior Tyler Mullins reflected on the bullying that happens here at Gallatin County High.

“I really didn’t think we had a bullying problem, but the more he talked, the more it stood out,” Tyler said.

Halligan, from Vermont, was here Thursday to present “Ryan’s Story.” He’s done it more than 200 times since Ryan’s death in 2003, and has about 100 talks scheduled at schools nationwide this year.

“We want the kids to be aware of what can happen,” said Gallatin County High Principal Roxann Booth. “We have never had serious bullying issues, but we do have it.”

Every school does, and Halligan’s mission is to end it.

Ryan’s problems began in fifth grade when he was picked on by one boy for everything from his academic shortcomings to his lack of athleticism.

That boy continued to pick on Ryan to the point where, in seventh grade, Ryan told his parents he didn’t want to go to school anymore.

When Halligan offered to talk to the school or to the boy’s parents, Ryan begged his dad not to, saying the bullying would only get worse. Full story.


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