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Man On Mission To End Bullying Honored On Final Day Of Yankees HOPE Week

KIrk Smalley's Son Committed Suicide At The Age Of 11 Following Bullying
Kirk Smalley gives speech during Yankees HOPE Week (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Kirk Smalley gives speech during Yankees HOPE Week (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Yankees wrapped up HOPE Week on Friday by hosting hundreds of children for a talk on the dangers of bullying from a father who knows them all too well.

Kirk Smalley of Oklahoma gave an impassioned speech at Yankee Stadium on Friday. His son Ty was a bullying victim and committed suicide at the age of 11.

“I promised Ty that I will stop bullying in our world. I don’t break promises to my kid. But I need your help,” Smalley emotionally told the hundreds of schoolchildren gathered.

Out of Ty’s 2010 death, Smalley and others formed the Stand For The Silent initiative to end bullying. So far, Smalley’s delivered his message to more than 635,000 kids across 23 states, according to the group’s website.

Kirk Smalley at Yankee Stadium, where he delivered his anti-bullying message. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Kirk Smalley at Yankee Stadium, where he delivered his anti-bullying message. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

“You can hear how broken he was and how he struggled to say the words and everything. I couldn’t help but cry because I felt that pain,” a 16-year-old Bronx girl told Diamond.

LINKLearn More About Yankees HOPE Week

“You can’t help but to take it because you know if you fight back, you’re going to get in trouble. You’re going to be the one who gets caught,” 14-year-old Igor Reyes of the Bronx told Diamond.

Kirk Smalley ended his powerful talk by having the kids take a pledge, Diamond reported.

The pledge reads in part: “I will not stand silent as others try to spread hatred through my community.”

Stand For The Silent pledge. (Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Stand For The Silent pledge. (Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

HOPE Week – or, Helping Others Persevere and Excel Week – honors people or groups in the community who’ve gone above and beyond in helping others.

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