Too many children and adolescents take their own lives due to bullying. No longer able to stay silent about this unfortunate epidemic, parents of children all over have collaborate with Stand for the Silent in order to help put an end to bullying. Stand for the Silent was started in 2010 by a group of students from the Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City Upward Bound Chapter after they heard the story of Kirk and Laura Smalley’s son, Ty Field-Smalley. At eleven years-old, Ty took his own life after being suspended from school for retaliating against a bully that had been bullying him for over two years.
Stand for the Silent exists as a platform to allow Kirk and Laura to share their story and offer education and tools that will prevent their tragedy from happening to another child and family. Kirk and Laura’s mission is to continue to change kids’ lives and bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes. Since May 2010, Kirk and Laura Smalley have traveled to hundreds of schools and spoken with more than 833,000 kids.
In March 2011, Kirk and Laura met privately with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in The White House prior to attending the first ever White House conference on bullying. Their story is featured in Director Lee Hirsch's feature film, Bully. Kirk and Laura have been invited to a number of conferences on bullying and met with Lady Gaga this spring at the launch of the Born This Way Foundation.
To wear a wristband or a shirt that says I Stand for the Silent or I am Somebody is showing support of this wonderful cause. Many celebrities, including Lady Gaga, have spoken up about being bullied in their younger years, and even as adults in the media. It's because of voices like theirs that foundations like STFS are able to expand. Your voice matters too, and by wearing a SFTS hoodie, shirt, or wristband, you are spreading the word of these poor lives that were lost and those that are in danger today due to bullying. The clothing is comfortable and bring light to an organization that is trying to save lives, the SFTS is merchandise you can wear with pride.