On Tuesday, November 30, parents of school-aged children and the general public are invited to attend an important presentation on bullying and cyber-bullying at 7:30 pm at Madison Junior School, 160 Main Street. The presentation, “Ryan’s Story,” will be given by John Halligan, a Vermont father who knows all too well how tragic the consequences of bullying can be. “Ryan’s Story” is brought to Madison with the help of a grant by the Madison Alliance Against Substance Abuse (“MAASA”), and the Madison High School and Madison Junior School Parent Teacher Organizations. He is presenting a program during the school day, which will be geared toward the students.
Halligan’s son, Ryan, was just 13 when he committed suicide in 2003, following relentless teasing and harassment by his classmates both online and in school. Described as a friendly boy with typical teenage interests like skateboarding, biking, and computer games, Ryan endured years of name calling and humiliation until he decided to end his own life one October morning.
Devastated and heartbroken over his son’s death, John Halligan has dedicated his life to telling Ryan’s story in an effort to prevent another child from suffering the same fate. “Accountability and responsibility should be shared by all involved -- parents, bullies, bystanders, teachers and school administrators . . . basically the whole system,” Halligan writes on his website, www.RyanPatrickHalligan.com
At Madison Junior School, the purpose is to develop life-long learners who are informed, responsible and productive young citizens. Faculty and administration try to achieve this by providing challenging and diverse programs that reflect high expectations of a caring environment. Opportunities abound to learn effectively, to think critically, and to participate wholeheartedly, both in the classroom and in clubs and sports.
For more information on the anti-bullying presentation being held at MJS, please contact Libby Brooks-Shesler at Madison Junior School, 160 Main Street, at 973-593-3149.