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Nathaniel B. Field Memorial Foundation Sponsored Program on Bullying

Submitted by Marie and Howie Field

(March 3, 2024) — The Nathaniel B. Field Memorial Foundation, Inc. sponsored international speaker and author John W. Halligan’s appearance for Valley Regional High School district parents in Deep River on March 1, 2024.

John’s compelling presentation addressed the correlation between the social media and mental health issues in youth and adolescents. John shared “Ryan’s Story,” an emotionally-charged and impactful presentation that highlights the destructive consequences of bullying and cyberbullying.

The “Ryan’s Story” presentation is based on the personal experience of Halligan, who tragically lost his son Ryan to suicide as a result of relentless bullying. Halligan shared the story to raise awareness, promote empathy, and empower parents to take action to prevent bullying.

The suicide rate among middle and high school-aged children has increased drastically since the introduction of the smartphone, and cyberbullying has been a significant contributor to this alarming trend. In his presentation, Mr. Halligan discussed the warning signs of bullying, the role of technology in cyberbullying, and the importance of fostering open communication with children.

He also provided valuable insights into how parents and guardians can support their children, create a safe environment, and effectively address bullying incidents. Parents will get an unambiguous message that they need to step up and take responsibility for how their child uses technology and interact with their peers in person and online.

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