The Leadership Butler Class of 2012 is taking a stand against bullying.
The class project they chose is Bully Free Butler, and they are focusing on the issue of bullying talking with high school students, parents and community members.
"We had four groups in this year's Leadership Butler Class and we all had to come up with an idea for our project," explained Class President Philip Moore. "Two of the groups presented on bullying. It kind of pressed the importance of it."
The rest of the class members agreed, all having had some type of personal experience with bullying, and they began to plan an event.
One of the groups that presented the idea had researched bullying on the Internet and many of their searches kept bringing in Phil Chalmers, a teen violence and bullying expert, as well as author of "Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer."
They researched Chalmers and talked to him personally.
"He is renowned," Moore said, adding that a lot of school resource officers know who he is and some have seen his presentations.
They decided to bring Chalmers and his True Lies Tour to town.
"It (bullying) is an issue," Moore said. "The more I talk to my kids, the more I see that it's happening."
"It's different," said Becky Wolfe, Leadership Butler executive director, of today's bullying. "Technology has increased the level of what bullying means."
Chalmers, who also is a crime television personality, will be talking about bullying, crime prevention, teen violence and substance abuse. His goal is "to destroy the lies that are killing this young generation and bring truth in an in-your-face manner that works." Chalmers has interviewed more than 200 teen killers, school shooters, mass murderers, serial killers and sexual predator killers. He has appeared on the Montel Williams Show, debated the Insane Clown Posse on the Howard Stern Show and appeared on several crime shows on cable television.
His presentation is fast-moving and geared to the MTV and video game generation. He also will have a rapper with him at the event as part of his team.
"By having him, we're providing different outlets for kids being bullied," Moore said.
Chalmers will be doing school assemblies on March 12 and 13. He will be at Circle High School at 8:5 a.m., Andover High School at 10:30 a.m. and Bluestem High School at 1:30 p.m. on March 12. On the 13th, he will be at El Dorado High School at 8:15 a.m., Andover Central High School at 9:50 a.m. and Augusta High School at 1:30 p.m. The public can attend these events and just need to check in with the school office upon arrival.
Page 2 of 2 - Moore said all of the schools were receptive to the event and all but three will either have the entire high school attending or send representatives to attend one of the events. They hope those who don't attend will go to the public event.
The public event will be held at 7 p.m. March 12 at the Circle High School auditorium. They will offer childcare during the public event, with Youth Leadership Butler and Circle High School National Honor Society students providing the care.
Moore encourages everyone to attend whether they have high school age children or not so they can learn the signs of bullying.
"From personal experience, I had a son who was bullied and I didn't know it until I saw bruises on his legs," Wolfe said. "Until I saw the physical signs, I didn't know anything was going on."
Moore hopes other organizations involved with bullying also will attend the presentation and get some new resources they can use.
The event is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation and local sponsorships.