Bully victim’s father brings strong message to Anderdon Public

 

By Jolene Perron

Children of Anderdon Public School were treated with a visit last Thursday by Mike Neuts to talk about bullying.

Neuts lost his son to bullying in January of 1998. It was at this time that Neuts son, Myles, was left hanging on a coat hanger in a washroom stall by some of his classmates who thought it was merely a joke.

These actions were not a joke – Neuts lost his son a short time after, while they were in the hospital. The doctors told Neuts and his wife that the chances that their son would ever regain consciousness were slim. It was this information that allowed Neuts and his wife to let their son go.

Since that time, Neuts has set out on a mission to spread the word about bullying to both children and parents, teachers and principals, even law enforcement. He tells them of the importance regarding anti-bullying, using his own personal story as reinforcement to warn children that this is reality.

“My whole presentation is about empathy,” said Neuts, “I try to massage the heart. If I can get to their heart, I teach them the true effects of bullying.”

In between presentations at Anderdon elementary school, three to four children from grades four through eight were chosen to have a pizza lunch with Neuts.

Mike Neuts shares lunch with Anderdon Public School students during his visit. Neuts son Myles died as a result of a bullying incident in Chatham in February 1998.

“Each of the classroom teachers chose the students who are present here today,” said Karrie Laframboise, one of the teachers at Anderdon. “I believe some of the kids were bullied themselves, and some that have bullied others.”

Laframboise also said that they have seen a significant drop in bullying within the past couple of years. The students have even banded together to create their own anti-bullying group.

“I’ve been bullied,” said Austin Martell, “and I don’t like it. It hurts.”

During the luncheon with the children, Neuts opened the children up to ask any questions they had concerning bullying. Part of the reason for the luncheon was to give kids a chance to meet Neuts in a close environment and feel safe to ask him questions.

“At the end of the day, I’m trying to change the world for them (the children)” said Neuts, “Kids don’t go to school to die. We all need to do our part to stop bullying.”

 

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