By Helen Stephenson
Sometimes it takes a whole lot of forces to bring something good to fruition. That’s exactly what happened when a group of volunteers, many in the mental health profession, decided to bring the documentary film “Bully”and Kirk Smalley, one of the subjects of the doc, to Prescott.
In 2010, Smalley lost his son Ty to suicide after he was bullied at school. Ty was just 11-years-old. Since then, Smalley has devoted his life to stopping bullying and youth suicide. He’s told Ty’s story at more than 500 schools and has spoken to more than 100,000 students, teachers, and school administrators. He created an anti-bullying organization called Stand for the Silent the goal of which is “to inspire students to be the change they want in their schools.” He’s vowed to fight bullying every chance he gets.
“I have a pretty big purpose in life right now,” Smalley says. “I’m not going to stop. I’ll fight bullying wherever it’s found. Schools. Workplace. I’m not going to quit until bullying does.”
Smalley will be in Prescott Thursday and Friday, Aug. 29 and 30, speaking at schools in Chino Valley, Prescott Valley, and Prescott. At 6 p.m. Friday, “Bully” screens at The Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center. The Elks’ new owners have kindly donated the use of the theater for this important event. Smalley will be on hand to answer questions after the film.
In addition to Dan and Holli Kenley, who spearheaded this event, donations came from Matforce Arizona Association of University Women, Community Counts, The Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families, and the Prescott Film Festival.
Helen Stephenson is executive director of the Prescott Film Festival and collects old hats and Mary Poppins memorabilia. When she’s not watching films or marketing the fest, you can usually catch her at the computer in her Prescott Film Festival office on the Yavapai College campus. Contact her at Helen@PrescottFilm Festival.Com.