Ryan’s Story Presented in Harborfields
By Alison DeMaria
In an effort to raise awareness of the effects that bullying has on students and their families, Oldfield Middle School in the Harborfields Central School District hosted Ryan’s Story, an anti-bullying program based upon the life and death of 13-year-old Ryan Halligan. Ryan was a middle school student from Vermont who committed suicide in 2003 due to depression and constant bullying.
In an emotional presentation that included a slideshow of Ryan throughout the years, Ryan’s father, John Halligan, recounted the story of his son’s life and the ridicule he endured. In separate sessions for students and parents, he discussed the devastating impact his son’s suicide has had on his family, and the power of forgiveness. “Ryan was so focused on the people who didn’t like him that he forgot all about those people in his life who loved him,” said Mr. Halligan. “I assure every one of you in this room, you are loved beyond belief.”