NCPC’s “Circle of Respect” aims to stop bullying

BY CARMEN GONZALEZ CALDWELL
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
Iwant to share a new program that the National Crime Prevention Council recently kicked-off, and we are very proud that our YCW will be part of this new initiative in the schools and community.

The information below was taken from an article written by Angela Sivak about the Circle of Respect campaign, the National Crime Prevention Council’s (NCPC) newest initiative to address bullying and cyber bullying.
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Cyber-bullying warning: Halligan shares son’s tragic story

By Dan Berrett
Pocono Record
POCONO, Penn. — Four months ago, a presentation on the personal effects of bullying left many Stroudsburg students and parents teary-eyed and deeply moved.

Tonight, that speaker is coming back to the district, and this time, everyone from the area can come hear him.
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Father honors memory of bullied-to-death son

Channel KTVQ
BILLINGS, Mont. — A Vermont man was in Billings on Tuesday on a mission to educate others about the devastating consequences of bullying. It’s a message that comes from the heart because he’s a father who lost his teenage son, after bullies targeted him.

“Ryan was a typical 13-year-old, if you had met you would’ve never guessed that what happened to him would be his future,” John Halligan said. Ryan’s future would be a grim and sad one. On October 7th of 2003, 13-year-old Ryan Halligan took his life.

It started with a childhood bully, who wouldn’t leave him alone and at one point befriended him. “The kid shared something very personal that Ryan had told him and the kid used it against it and spread a rumor around school that my son was gay,” John said.

Ryan tried to manage situation on his own. He got online and thought a popular girlfriend would be his way out of the bullying and then a bombshell dropped on him. “It turned out that she had only been joking with him online, and she and her friends thought it would be funny to pretend to be his girlfriend.” Ryan then took his own life after being cyberbullied and it devastated his family.

“This is the worst thing that could ever happen to a parent. And when you get to that point of realizing the worst has happened, where do you go from here? And I saw this as an opportunity to make a huge difference in Ryan’s memory to honor his life.”

And he has, taking action to help pass the Vermont Bully Prevention Bill in 2004, pushing for mandatory suicide prevention education in public schools, and traveling across the country speaking to students. But he says at every school he goes to, there’s a Ryan in that audience. “I cant tell you how many times I’ve got an e-mail from a kid, who says I was thinking of suicide, but after I heard Ryan’s story I decided not to.” Full story.

Parents’ site in honor of Ryan Halligan

Frontline: Ryan Halligan’s bullying-suicide story on Frontline