Man Turns Tragedy Into Triumph After His Son Committed Suicide

11-year-old boy takes own life and father seeks to honor him through foundation

Kirk Smalley has dedicated his life to helping others after a terrible tragedy struck him personally. His son took his own life due to bullying. So now, Kirk educates young people about the terrible dangers and potential consequences that bullying can have.


Kirk Smalley suffered a profound loss in 2011. His 11-year-old son, Ty, committed suicide abruptly and without warning due to bullying. After enduring such a heartbreaking loss, Kirk decided to try and make something good of the terrible situation. Now, he goes around telling the story of his son in order to help others from meeting a similar fate.

Ty took his own life in the sixth grade after constant harassment from his peers. Often, people simply don’t realize how detrimental their words and actions can be to others. It can all seem like fun and games to some people, but bullying can be absolutely crushing for the victim.

Kirk wanted to do right by his son and to help others in similar situations. Telling the story of when he visited Ty’s grave he remarked, “One month and seven days after Ty died, it was actually Father’s Day…I made my boy a promise,” he continued “I promised him that I was gonna stop bullying in this world.”

Admirable to say the least, Kirk embarked on a mission from that day forward. He and his wife travel 300 days a year to educate people about the terrible outcomes of bullying. They even use their own money to fund the trips.

Kirk doesn’t charge any fees when he goes to schools across the country to speak to children. He has reached over 700,000 students around America through his organization called Stand for the Silent.

With the utmost passion and drive, Kirk spreads a positive message of light that formed out of darkness.

SHARE this video online out of respect for Ty, his family, and other people in similar situations.