On February 27th, 2018 a group of students from Caney High School invited Mr. Kurk Smalley from SFTS (Stand for The Silent) to share his message about the dangers and real world effects of bullying with Caney 5th-12th graders and Stringtown 7th-12th graders.
Founded in 2010, Stand for the Silent has fast become one of the leading and most effective anti-bullying organizations. Our mission is simple: bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes. Stand For The Silent runs solely off generous donations from those who support our mission.
Kurk shared a very deep and personal message about his own experience with bullying and how it caused him to lose his son. Many of the students were moved to tears and everybody in attendance left with a better understanding of the consequences that are associated with bullying. Mr. Smalley stayed after his presentation to answer questions and took time to speak with everyone who approached him.He also left the students who organized the rally resources that they could use to educate the rest of the school about effects of bullying and ways to handle bullies. Following the rally students were asked to sign a “Pledge Poster” and pledges that were then hung in the high school hallway.
Four weeks prior to the rally the same group of students who organized and conducted the rally decided to form an organization called ‘Stand Speak Change’
“SSC is a student founded and student led organization with its primary focus on educating our peers about the dangers of bullying and providing resources so that they are better able to recognize and stop the problem. We are changing the future by changing our culture, we strive for a future where bullying is a thing of the past and acceptance is the norm!”
In planning for the rally they had to work with teachers and staff to form a plan that would have the biggest impact on both the students of Caney schools and the community itself. After forming a plan they then needed to find funding to provide Mr. Smalley a donation for travel expenses and resources. They spoke with the advisors of local FCCLA, FFA, BPA, NHS and Leadership Team chapters and received enough money to make a seven hundred and fifty dollar donation to te SFTS foundation.
During the week prior to the Bully Prevention Rally the students who founded SSC were hard at work to raise awareness among the student body about the dangers of bullying. On Monday February 19th they started “Bully Prevention Week”, they had students in the 5th-12th grades sign their names and the names of their friends on paper hands that would then be cut out and pasted to a paper “Friendship Tree” that hangs in the high school hallway. For the rest of the week they went class to class and had a Q&A with the students about bullying statistics and handed out Hershey’s “Kisses” and “Hugs” and heart shaped candies to all of the students that participated.
Following the events of “Bully Prevention Week” the founders of SSC allowed anyone who wished to play a bigger role in bully prevention to join them and they are now planning more events in the hope of making a larger positive impact in the school and community.