Hundreds of Waterloo students take a stand against bullying - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hundreds of Waterloo students take a stand against bullying

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Hundreds packed Hoover Middle School in Waterloo -- but it was so silent, you could hear a pin drop.

That's because Kirk Smalley's message is real and, for some, maybe a little uncomfortable.

"It's hard because you see that everyday, but you don't want to accept it," said Minela Ikanovic, an eighth-grade Hoover Middle School student."You don't want to know (how) people in your school are feeling."

Smalley's son, Ty, took his own life at the age of 11 after he was bullied at school. Now, the Oklahoma man shares his "Stand for the Silent" anti-bully message all across the United States.

On Tuesday in Waterloo, Smalley made some cry. Some even showed their support by raising their hands showing the sign language for "I love you" but instead, for Smalley, it's "I support you."

That's what Smalley wants these kids to do -- support one another.

"After this, I really realize how much it does make a difference and I realized throughout this whole presentation I really was thinking about the people who I've seen being bullied and how it was going to really change just how they talk to them and how I talk to them," said Parker McNally, an eighth-grade Hoover Middle School student.

McNally admitted the message made him emotional, but he was surprised to see the emotion from his classmates. Now, McNally is encouraged to join his classmates and stop the bullying.

"I was actually really, really surprised, because I've never really seen many of them have such emotion and such feelings for someone -- and I really do think this was a great way to show them what bullying can do," said McNally.

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