The sad thing about many of the forces that make so many kids feel there is no way out from bullying is that they are universal. They feel alone, that no one can help them. The families, classmates and schools are left behind to think and hopefully learn how to reduce the pain that causes these suicides. One father’s story, featured in the film “Bully,” was told to Raleigh students when he came to speak. Ty Smalley was only 11 years old when he took his life. (WRAL):

“Stand up and say it’s not right,” Kirk Smalley said, showing his young audience photos of boys and girls who were driven to suicide by bullies. The stories resonated with the students.

“I did not want to go to school, and almost every day, I would be in the office,” bullying victim Charlie Woodlief said, noting that he got through that difficult time with the help of his family, friends and teachers.

Even East Wake Middle Principal Nancy Allen recalled being bullied as a child.

“Whenever one of my students comes to me and says, ‘I’ve been bullied,’ I remember those days, and I get a lump in my throat,” Allen said. “I don’t want that to happen to one of my kids here. They’re too important.”

One in five HS students had been bullied at school in 2008-09. The Wake County Public School System has a Bullying Prevention Task Force in place to study and address the issue.