Father speaks on son’s suicide to help bring awareness


A family has taken their son’s story about bullying and suicide and is sharing it to let others know they are not alone.

For the Smalley family, talking about their son’s death has never been easy.

“Ever since that day, I have been traveling all over this country trying to make that thing stop,” said Kirk Smalley, Stand for the Silent.

11-year-old Ty Smalley took his own life after he retaliated against a bully who had been bullying him for two years.

“One day, he had enough,” said Smalley. “A kid walked up and pushed him and Ty turned around and pushed him back. He fought back. And you know it is also the second guy that gets caught.”

Since that day, Kirk and his wife, Laura has made it their mission to bring awareness and to change children’s lives about bullying with the presentation, Stand for the Silent.

It started in 2010 by a group of high school students in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma after they heard about Ty’s story.

“His son Ty’s story and my story, we have a lot of similarities,” said James McKane. McKane started his own Frederick County chapter, Stand for the Silent. “We both have been bullied for two years and no one would help us at all. We had to stand up for ourselves. We both retaliated because we could not take the bullying anymore.”

Parents, officials and students gathered in the Frederick High School Auditorium to hear from Kirk as he shared not only his story, but others as they discussed the issue of school bullying.

“If we spread out the word out even more and Mr. Smalley’s message then we can give the courage to stand up and combat the epidemic of bullying,” said McKane.

As Kirk walked around the auditorium, he wanted to hand out a message.

“We give them these little wristbands that say that I am somebody. We want them to know that they are allowed to be who they are,” said Smalley.

Since 2010, Kirk and Laura Smalley have traveled to over 1,200 schools.

The event was hosted by the Frederick Police Department, Frederick County Public Schools, PTA Council of Frederick County, and Clergy in Service. Community organizations were also present to provide resources and information on bullying and suicide prevention. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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