Inspiring Change with ‘Ryan’s Story’

Inspiring Change with ‘Ryan’s Story’ photo
Middle school students were introduced to a powerful speaker who began his presentation by letting them know that the story they would hear would be sad, but his intention was to have them all think and act differently about the issue of bullying.

He succeeded.

A voice of hope in the suicide prevention movement, John Halligan who lost his thirteen-year-old son Ryan to suicide, shared a video montage of his child and spoke of his life and challenges before his death in 2003.

According to English teacher Allison Giannusa who coordinated the presentation, many of the 6-8 grade students took away several positive messages including optimism, as well as learning from mistakes and, most importantly, that they are loved. As a follow-up to the presentation, the students reflected on what could have been done differently to prevent Ryan’s death.