'Stand for the Silent' serves as movement to end bullying

'Stand for the Silent' comes to Knoxville with mission to end bullying

Posted:
11-year-old Ty Smalley took his own life in 2010 after being bullied for two years. His parents say he loved to hunt and help others. (source: Stand for the Silent website) 11-year-old Ty Smalley took his own life in 2010 after being bullied for two years. His parents say he loved to hunt and help others. (source: Stand for the Silent website)
This is one of the movement's symbols.  It is sign language for "I love you." (source: Stand for the Silent website) This is one of the movement's symbols. It is sign language for "I love you." (source: Stand for the Silent website)
Kirk Smalley (right) appeared Tuesday morning on Good Morning Tennessee with Morgan Frazier, who is a victim of bullying. Kirk Smalley (right) appeared Tuesday morning on Good Morning Tennessee with Morgan Frazier, who is a victim of bullying.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A national movement to end bullying in schools has made its way to Knoxville.

It's called "Stand for the Silent," an organization formed after the suicide of an 11-year-old boy.

Ty Smalley's parents are crossing the country, speaking out against bullying, hoping to prevent it from happening to any other child.

Ty's father Kirk Smalley first appeared on Good Morning Tennessee Tuesday to share Ty's story.

It was a little more than three years ago when he says his son just couldn't take it anymore; years of was relentless bullying at his Oklahoma City school.

"Nowadays, it's 24/7. You can't get away from it," said Kirk Smalley, Ty's father. "Ty was picked on because he was the littlest kid in his class."

One week before the end of sixth grade, Ty committed suicide.

"When she came home that evening, we found that he had killed himself in our bedroom floor," said Kirk Smalley, whose wife found their son dead.

Ty's parents are now on a mission to end bullying, visiting schools and communities spreading their anti-bullying message.

"Bullying has to stop. We're losing babies to this almost every single day," said Smalley.

Smalley also met with officers from the Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff's Office Tuesday about cracking down on bullying in East Tennessee schools before it's too late.

"One out of every four kids in America right now will have a plan on how they will take their own life before they graduate high school," said Smalley.

The Knoxville Police Department says bullying is a major problem, to the point that they started an anti-bullying campaign earlier this year.

"It is something that needs to be dealt with and to be stopped," said Chief David Rausch of the Knoxville Police Department.

Officers conduct in-school training to help teachers and students spot bullying, and properly intervene.

"If we can get everyone communicating about the issue, stop those who are doing the behaviors and we can help those who have been bullied," said Rausch.

Hearing Ty's story is encouraging them to work even harder to stop it, standing for the silent right here at home.

"One baby gone is one too many. One mom and daddy that live the nightmare that Laura and I live every day is one too many," said Smalley.

In the last year and a half, the Smalleys have spoken in more than 700 schools, reaching more than 750,000 students.

For more information on Stand for the Silent, including how you can donate to the cause, visit the organization's website.

Another member of Stand for the Silent who says she was bullied growing up, Morgan Frazier, has written a song to help raise money towards the anti-bullying effort.

Frazier is a country singer and songwriter. She wrote a song called "Hey Bully" about her experiences in middle school.  She is now teaming up with "Stand for the Silent" to spread the movement.

"When I heard about everything that Kirk is doing, I really wanted to be a part of it because it's something I hold dear to my heart as well," Frazier said.

She joined the Smalley's Tuesday as they spoke with Knoxville law enforcement.

Her song can be purchased on iTunes.

"Stand for the Silent" was launched in 2010 by a group of students from Oklahoma State University after they heard the story about Ty.

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