Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00
Supervisor Jon Kaiman, the North Hempstead Town Board and other elected town officials welcomed over 200 students, faculty, parents, and community activists to North Hempstead Beach Park recently to raise awareness of the dangers of bullying.
The crowd assembled at the amphitheater of the park to listen to a number of stirring speeches and stunning musical performances by students from across the town. Nearly a dozen middle schools and high schools in the town unified with the Town for this event.
Keynote speaker John Halligan delivered a moving speech about his son Ryan, who committed suicide back in 2003 due to the effects of being bullied. He discussed the necessity for students to stand up and be “upstanders” and not “bystanders” when their peers are being bullied. Halligan now travels the country to alert students, faculty, and communities, about the potentially devastating consequences of bullying.
Following the program, all attendees came together for a walk around the park. Dozens of students then attended discussion groups with counselors who presented advice on how to cope with bullies, and on who they can turn to for help.