Parents, students react to KWWL's stand against bullying rally - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents, students react to KWWL's stand against bullying rally

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Wednesday night, a community came together to stand with KWWL against bullying.

Kirk Smalley spoke at the event. His message on bullying was simple -- communities can only eliminate it by standing together.

When he spoke Wednesday night at Don Bosco high school, he told the gathered students and parents about his experience when his 11-year-old son, Ty, shot and killed himself after he was bullied at school.

That hit home for Kim French, and her 11-year-old son, Gavin.

"You know I think he really brought some awareness to a lot of parents and a lot of students about how it affects family of the kids that are being bullied," French said.

Gavin said he has been bullied before, and brought his mom to check out the event.

Smalley champions the 'Stand for the Silent' movement, which gives voice to bullying victims.

They're trying to get anti-bullying legislation passed.

He also trys to solve the problem at the source, by teaching kids not to bully.

"Sometimes it goes unsaid what happens in school amongst their peers," said Kerrie Becker, a parent at the event. "Even kids you don't think it happens to it happens to."

Smalley's was in tears as he spoke about losing his son.

He said no parent should have to face their child's suicide due to bullying.

French was thankful he shared his experience.

"Oh I thought he was awesome," she said. "He really hits your heartstrings ... it's hard to fight back tears."

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