TULSA - The father of an 11-year-old boy who committed suicide here in Oklahoma after years of bullying is speaking out. Kirk Smalley hopes his story will resonate with parents, students and the bullies themselves.
"We basically live an hour at a time, a minute at a time. And sometimes not even that," Smalley said.
Six months after 11-year-old Ty Smalley killed himself, his family is still grieving. But his father Kirk is also taking action.
"It's a nightmare that we're living. We wake up on a daily basis, when we sleep. And we try to find a reason to.. go on. And to give ourselves a reason, we're trying to make sure not another baby goes through this. Not another family gets to live this nightmare," Smalley said.
Ty shot himself after he stood up to a bully at school and got suspended. Now his father has made it his mission to fight bullying. He spoke at a bullying prevention conference in Tulsa on Saturday.
"They're children that you know. And we have to put a stop to it."
Smalley says he doesn't have all of the answers. But he can raise awareness.
"The people's lives that had to be given, to make the world see this, is way too long. One child was way too many. My child was way too many," Smalley said.
His story hit home for a lot of parents.
"There's nothing harder than holding your kid at bed time, when he's sobbing. About what he's heard at school, about what he's seen and how he's felt," said Cristina Smith Williams.
Smith Williams has three children attending Tulsa Public Schools. She came to learn what to say to her kids and how to help.
"They don't think I can possibly understand. And that's why I'm here today, hoping that there are some words I can say, something that I can say that will make them feel okay," she said.
Family and Children Services partnered with Tulsa Public Schools to offer the free workshop to parents and students.
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