Kirk and Laura Smalley are starting to make waves in their fight to prevent bullying in schools.
The Perkins couple believe their son, Ty Field, who committed suicide on May 13, was being bullied at school and that it contributed to his decision to end his life.
And while the Perkins-Tyron school district has said there was no indication Ty was being bullied at school, the district has requested bullying-prevention training for school personnel.
The Smalleys are also meeting with state legislators to discuss needed amendments to the School Bullying Prevention Act, which was adopted in 2002. The law currently mandates that schools have policies, but doesn’t go to much further in requiring training. Several state legislators have pledged support to help pass amendments to the law and strengthen the act, according to Mark Brennaman, whose groups Education Advocacy Group is helping the Smalleys.
Out of their greatest tragedy, the courageous Smalleys are making a difference.
Recently I’ve been writing about an 11-year-old boy who committed suicide. His parents say the boy, Ty Field, was being bullied at school. The school district denies that Ty was being bullied.
Ty’s parents, Kirk and Laura Smalley, are determined to find some sort of good from their son’s tragic death. They are putting all they have into bringing awareness to bullying problems in schools.
It’s those rare moments when a reporter finds such an incredibly gracious and brave man as Kirk Smalley. In what is certainly the greatest tragedy of his and his wife’s life, he found the strength the share Ty’s story with the readers of The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com.
As a father myself I can’t imagine the pain and suffering Ty’s parents are experiencing. The pain in Kirk Smalley’s eyes is enough to break any other parents heart.
On Saturday, more than 30 people met at the Smalleys’ Perkins home to talk about what they could do to prevent bullying in schools. Many in attendance vowed to keep attending Perkins-Tyron Public School meetings until changes happen. No one representing the school district was at the Smalley’s home, according to Mark Brennaman, whose organization Education Advocacy Group is helping fight bullying in schools.
After Sunday’s article was published, Kirk Smalley said he has been talking with several state legislators and received calls of support from as far away as Australia.
I hope that Kirk Smalley’s mission to find something good out of this tragedy does not fail. I hope that some day the Smalleys find peace.
Bullies do not belong in our schools.
The Stonebriar neighborhood in northwest Oklahoma City is a quiet, family addition that looks like many other areas around Edmond–Brick homes around 2,00o square feet. Tall privacy fences. Perfectly manicured Bermuda grass.
Well landscaped lots (homeowners are required to spend no less than about $1,000 on flowers, grass, trees and shrubs).
Trash cans be kept out of sight unless it’s trash day.
Only ”for sale” or “for rent” signs can be posted in lots.
Home prices in the new neighborhood start at about $200,000.
Heather Drapeau didn’t mention being surprised by a request to remove several signs posted in the windows and on the fence around her home. She didn’t say if she’d read the homeowner’s association covenants, but she doesn’t see it as a neighborhood rules issue. She thinks her opinion is as valid and protected as her neighbors’ who she says display signs supporting the Edmond North high school Huskies. Drapeau says the neighborhood association looks the other way at those signs, but one of hers that says, ”For Peace Bring The Troops Home Now,” is inflammatory.
“They want this neighborhood to look like all of the other cookie-cutter neighborhoods around here,” Drapeau said.
“But I’m going to keep rattling my saber.”
The former military combat medic has promised to keep the signs up and has no issue going to court about it, she said.
We’ll keep an eye on this story and see how it turns out.