There is a face, a person, a heart on the receiving end of bullying, be it in person or on a computer screen.
Each year Dean of Students Nick Cerreta brings John Halligan to Xavier. Halligan relays his tragic experience as a father whose 13-year-old son Ryan took his own life in 2003. Ryan was bullied in school and online.
Halligan will be at Xavier on Oct. 21 to talk to freshmen and transfer students during the day. That night from 6:30-8 p.m. there is a presentation in the gym for parents. Social distancing guidelines will be in place.
Halligan will tell the story of the factors that led to his son’s suicide, allowing students to gain a perspective from inside a family whose child was a victim of bullying and cyber-bullying. Students will gain an awareness about the signs and risks of teenage suicide and how best to help a friend. They also have the chance to ask questions of Mr. Halligan.
At the night session, parents not only will hear the powerful story but also gain strategies that they can use with their own children when it comes to bullying, proper social media use, and teen depression.
Cerreta encourages parents and children to discuss the presentation together. He can be reached at 860-346-7735, ext. 785, or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
For more on the Ryan’s story, click here.