Thousands Around the World Rally to Stop Bullying - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Thousands Around the World 'Stand for the Silent' Against Bullying

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Hundreds of students and supporters rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday to stand up against bullying in Oklahoma's schools. Hundreds of students and supporters rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday to stand up against bullying in Oklahoma's schools.
Similar vigils were put on not just in the U.S. but across the world, including 19 other states in the U.S. and seven other countries including Australia, England and Canada. Similar vigils were put on not just in the U.S. but across the world, including 19 other states in the U.S. and seven other countries including Australia, England and Canada.

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Hundreds rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday evening to bring awareness to the issue of bullying.

Upward Bound, a student group, organized the event in memory of an 11-year-old Perkins boy who committed suicide in May after a long battle with a school bully.

Ty Field's father, Kirk Smalley, was a guest speaker at the "Stand for the Silent" vigil and told the crowd to keep the message going into the new school year.

Stand for the Silent Vigil at State Capitol

"Don't mourn our son," Smalley said. "Use this energy to help us stop bullying. Stop this from happening to another child. Stop it from happening to another family."

Smalley said he and his wife will step out of the spotlight and allow the group to continue doing its job.

Upward Bound has created a "Standup for the Silent" Facebook page that has gained thousands of followers. Members are also selling t-shirts, arm bands and asking other students to sign an anti-bully pledge.

"It doesn't just hurt people physically. It hurts them emotionally," said Western Heights High School senior Brandon Lafluer. "We've seen people commit suicide because of this. Not just here but all across the nation and the world and it's a big problem that needs to stop."

Similar vigils were held in 19 other states in the U.S. and seven countries including Australia, England and Canada.

A state lawmaker said she plans to file legislation next year to better document bullying in Oklahoma schools. Rep. Anastasia Pittman of Oklahoma City called for the legislation Tuesday.

Pittman said her bill would allow administrators to document the first, second and third bullying offenses and require teachers to do a follow-up in 30 days. The information also would be included in student transfers.

Pittman said she has received several calls about children who do not want to return to school this year because of bullying problems.

School districts statewide reported 259 cases of bullying of students that resulted in physical injury and 10,537 incidents without injury.

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