Talk aimed at empowering parents and community with strategies to tackle issues of bullying, cyberbullying and teen depression coming to Elkhart High School
Elkhart Community Schools is inviting all parents, guardians, and community members to the Ryan’s Story Presentation on October 13 at 7:00 PM at Elkhart High School. This program aims to educate parents on the dangers of bullying, help them recognize signs of bullying and depression, and empower them with tools families can use.
Ryan’s Story was created by John Halligan. In 2003, Halligan lost his 13-year-old son, Ryan, to suicide. After his death, it was revealed that Ryan was subject to extensive bullying, both in school and online. Since then, Halligan has dedicated much of his life to informing parents about the dangers of harassment and teen depression, and the steps families can take to healthily and safely navigate potential issues.
“With technology and social media playing an increasingly dominant role in all of our lives, it’s important to give families as many resources as possible to help students who may be dealing with bullying,” says Elkhart Community Schools Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Lindsey Brander. “We need our entire community to recognize this is an issue that touches every one of us – students, parents, school staff, community leaders, and community members. More than ever, our community needs to hear John’s message and come together to develop strategies to reduce bullying and protect the mental health and wellbeing of our youth.”
Over the past 13 years, the Ryan’s Story Presentation has been given to more than 2,000 schools, reaching over 1-million students. Halligan has told his son’s story on several nationally-televised programs, including Primetime with Diane Sawyer, PBS Frontline, and The Oprah Show. Halligan also spearheaded successful legislative efforts to mandate suicide prevention programs in Vermont public schools. He is the recipient of multiple service awards from nationally-recognized organizations, including IBM, United Way, and Children Abuse Prevention Services.
Halligan will be presenting to students at all three ECS middle schools during the school day on October 13-14.
The parent/community presentation will be held in the Elkhart High School (2608 California Road, Elkhart, IN 46514) Little Theater the evening of October 13th. The hour-long presentation will begin at 7:00 PM. Interpreters will be available.