Those We Honor
At the beginning of each Stand for the Silent school presentation, student leaders read the biographies of bullying victims that have lost their lives to suicide as submitted by their families. Stand for the Silent honors the memory of these kids, and we thank the families for sharing their stories.
Ty Smalley | Age 11back
Ty was from Perkins, Oklahoma, and he was eleven years old. Ty had a big heart and always had a big smile for everyone. He loved to hunt and help others. Ty was small for his age. Two years of being bullied was just too much for him. He retaliated against the bully and was suspended. We lost Ty on May 13th, 2010.
Montana Lance | Age 9back
Montana was from Texas. At the age of nine, Montana was suspended from school because he retaliated against a bully. He was in the school office waiting for his parents to pick him up, and, after locking himself in the nurses bathroom, he hung himself with his belt. We lost Montana January 21, 2010.
Michael Berry | Age 17back
Michael was from California. He was a straight A, honor roll student, bright, popular, articulate, smart, and funny. His sense of humor was razor sharp. He loved animals, camping along the California coast, and hiking the Sierras. Another student started a rumor about Michael’s sexuality through social media, and then nurtured it into a murderous harassment campaign. Michael was a victim of a peer abuse driven bullycide. He shot himself on September 15, 2008, on his 17 birthday while at school. His mother, Lisa continues her work with Brave Society to bring awareness, accountability and action against peer abuse.
Matt Epling | Age 14back
Matt Epling was from Michigan. He was 14 years old. He was voted by his eighth grade classmates to have the best smile, the best personality, and the most likely to become an actor. He was assaulted by the older kids as a part of “welcome to high school.” We lost Matt in 2002. His father, Kevin Epling continues to work to bring awareness and stop bullying.
Jessica Logan | Age 18back
Jessica was an 18 year old from Ohio. She was a warm, good natured, very creative teenager! She worked with many art mediums, wrote poetry and lyrical stories. She liked sports and ballet. Jessica was harassed by cell, online and in person because an inappropriate photo was stolen from her phone. Jessica went on a local news station to warn other teens. The peer abuse was relentless. Jessica took her life on July 3rd, 2008 to end her pain. Her mother Cynthia helped pass the “Jessica Logan Act” in Ohio.
Brianna DeVries | Age 14back
Brianna was from Australia. Bullying happens around the world. Brianna loved fishing, surfing, and she was good at all sports. Bree was bullied by some of her trusted friends on Facebook and Myspace. At the age of 14, Bree took her own life to escape the constant bullying. We lost Breezy April 28th 2010.
Brandon Swartwood | Age 18back
Brandon Swartwood lived in Coweta, Oklahoma. He loved riding his four wheeler, fishing, camping, and helping on the family farm and family trucking business. His mom always said he was her mechanic that was smart enough to be a rocket scientist. Brandon was bullied for many years by people that never took the time to get to know him. Brandon took his own life to end his pain December 16th, 2000 at the age of 18.
Austin Hallsted | Age 16back
Austin was always a very creative and enthusiastic young man. He loved the outdoors and was an accomplished hunter and builder! For his sisters 5th birthday Austin built her a surprise two story playhouse complete with lights and even a walk out balcony. Austin battled bullies the same as way too many other kids. Some of his closest friends bullied him to the point that he took his own life to escape it. We lost Austin December 18th, 2010. His parents Travis and Heidi have made it their mission to stop bullying.
Isabel Santoro | Age 14back
Isabel Juliet Santoro was a 14 year old freshman in high school from Lincoln, California. She was intelligent, beautiful, and a talented young girl with a sunshine smile and a sparkling sense of humor. Isabel enjoyed giving of herself to help others. She loved music and played the flute from elementary school through high school. Isabel advanced to second chair flute in her school orchestra. Her natural talent for singing and acting delighted everyone who saw her perform, throughout her life, in community theater. Isabel always loved reading, drawing, and making movies with her friends. She was a very good swimmer, and loved spending time in the water, especially at the beach in Santa Cruz. Isabel enjoyed travel, hoping one day to visit New Zealand and see more of the world. From an early age Isabel was interested in practicing medicine and more recently aspired to be an actress. After Isabel’s death we learned that she had been bullied verbally and physically at school. Isabel injured herself at home in the morning before school and died the next day, March 16, 2016, in the hospital. Two days later Isabel became an organ donor so that others could better live through her gifts of life. Her family and friends will deeply miss Isabel for the rest of their lives. Isabel Juliet Santoro was a very special young lady.
Evalina Hernandez | Age 16back
Evalina Victoria Hernandez was from Dixon, California, and she will be forever “Sweet 16”. She was an amazing girl with a smile and personality that would light up a room. She loved pandas and was into fashion and music. She loved to write stories and wanted to be a beautician and a professional makeup artist. Evalina was bullied until she could no longer take it. We lost Evalina on October 25th, 2014.
Laura Rhodes | Age 13back
Laura was from South Wales, UK. She was funny, bright and a giver. Of love, money, anything you needed, she would give it. Music was her passion. She lived and breathed it. Laura began to be bullied at age 9, although this was tackled immediately, and seemed to be resolved. It resumed with a vengeance when she went to the senior (high) school. Despite our every effort to get it resolved, it never was, and Laura took her own life on September 4th 2004. Her family says, “We miss her every second of every day.”
Sara Berkhimer | Age 27back
Sara lived in Palmyra, Pa. She loved camping, fishing, writing poetry. Her smile and laugh would warm your heart. She was bullied throughout her life. She volunteered for SFTS to make a difference. She loved her family and friends. Sadly, Sara ended her life and fight on September 26, 2014.
Michelle Gipson | Age 27back
Michelle was from Oswego, Illinois and was 27 years old. She was a special education teacher. She graduated from Illinois State University with honors, and began teaching. She put her all into teaching, and helping her students. Teaching led her to anti-bullying organizations like SFTS, and she had her own radio show to empower youth. Through her life Mish was bullied & hurt by some of the people closest to her, which resulted in her being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Despite her brilliant smile, crazy sense of humor, and drive to help others, Michelle fought an internal battle everyday. She gave up her fight and we lost Mish on January 31st 2014.
Ronin Shimizu | Age 12back
Ronin Shimizu was from Folsom, California, and he was 12 years old. Ronin had an affinity for creativity and love for the arts, whether it be drawing, painting, fashion design, dance or architectural design. He loved to use his innovative and creative spirit to make great things. Ronin enjoyed tumbling and gymnastics, he tried out for and made the cheer squad, where he became the first male cheerleader for the Vista Junior Eagles. He was also actively involved in the Cub Scouts and finished as a Senior WEBLO and then crossed over with his Arrow of Light to the Boy Scouts. Ronin especially loved all of the Boy Scouts camping trips, with his last trip to Yosemite being his favorite. In addition to Boy Scouts, Ronin enjoyed kayaking, canoeing and fishing and was a part of the Upper Natoma Rowing Crew. Ronin was a loving, smart, compassionate and empathetic person who followed his heart. Ronin spent nearly half of his life dealing with bullying and its effects until his untimely passing. We lost Ronin on December 3rd, 2014.
Zachary Fry | Age 15back
Zachary Noah Fry was from Olivehurst, California, and he was 15 ½ years old. He loved fishing and hunting and wanted to be a fishing guide and a BMW mechanic. Zachary played football since he was 6 years old. He loved others, had a huge heart for the homeless and was always considered an “old soul”. Zachary was cyberbullied by a former girlfriend and her new boyfriend until he decided he couldn’t take it anymore. We lost Zachary on August 27th, 2014.
Kimberly Linczeski | Age 12back
Kimberly was from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She was kind, loving, creative and so very funny. She loved reading, animals, her family and friends and spending time on the beaches of Lake Superior near her home. Kimberly was verbally and physically assaulted at school daily for 7 months. On March 3rd, 2010, after being hit again,she decided she’d had enough and hit back. Kimberly was suspended and sent home. She hanged herself in her closet. She died 3 days later, on March 6, 2010 from her injuries. Kimberly was 12 years old.
Brielle Thompson | Age 14back
Brielle was 14 years old and from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On March 7th, 2016, she hung herself. She passed away on March 9th, 2016. Brielle was loving, caring, giving, and would do anything for anyone. She loved animals and children. If you were having a bad day, she would use her hilarious personality to put a smile on your face. She suffered from severe depression and was bullied. Brielle was bullied by peers and some she had considered trusted friends. Her depression soon became a target for the bullies. She was told to kill herself on multiple occasions. Monday, March 7th, she recorded a video and tweeted saying good-bye and forgiving those that hurt her. Brielle was an organ donor and continues to live on through others.
Coby Bleakney | Age 12back
This bright and shining star always had a smile or a hand to give. He truly was the purest soul you could ever meet. He was the happy child that loved to make videos and play. He truly was the perfect son. He was a 6th grader that was being bullied and he held it all until he grew his wings. We love you with all our hearts and souls to the moon and back. Love momma (Tammy), Daddy (Chad)Bleakney and his brothers Eric, Tj, and Blake Swingle. Rest in Heaven buns
Ethan Patrick Griffin | Age 18back
Patrick was from Tennessee. He was very intelligent, kind, had a heart of gold and loved animals. He was 18yrs old. Patrick took his own life after being bullied relentlessly at school on March 5 , 2015.
Christian Farrell | Age 12back
His mom Annette writes “Christian was a very sweet and shy little boy until he got to know anyone. He was a great artist and very bright in school. He was in the gifted and talented program since 1st grade. Because of this…he was bullied and picked on. He was a little guy too. And that didn’t seem to help matters. Boys and girls alike towered over him. But he had spunk and character. He got bullied, but nevertheless never backed down from one. Especially when it came to girls. I didn’t know these things until after his death. Kids came from all over and told me Christian took the hits for other kids. Because he stood up for the underdog. That made me one proud mama! He also loved nature and animals. He loved his family with all of his heart. And when he made a friend…he was the best friend ever! He will be missed by many. Even after all of these years. But no one misses him like I do. Forever my baby…my Christian “
We lost Christian September 7th, 2007 at the age of 12.
Alevtina Semyonova | Age 16back
Alevtina was 16 years old and from Russia. She started doing arts & crafts at the age of 7 and enjoyed every second of it. She loved animals, and liked to help out with her younger siblings. She started getting bullied at the age of 8. She had a mild form of Cerebral Palsy and was bullied verbally and physically for the way she walked and talked.She was pushed around by other classmates or kicked in her knees. The bullying worsened when she was 13-16. She was spit at, kicked, punched, pushed, and beaten by a group of boys from her school. The girls would bully her verbally, and it eventually turned to online bullying. She tried telling teachers for years and nothing was done. One day the group of boys cornered her in the hall and were spitting on her and calling her names, she pushed the one closest to her and a school staff member saw it before turning away, Alevtina was suspended. The next year she tried another school and she was bullied within the first few hours while there. We lost Alevtina on the 7th of October in 2010.
Rebecca Walker | Age 13back
Rebecca was 13 years old and from the UK. She was born with Williams Syndrome yet was truly a friendly, outgoing, and happy person. She loved talking to anyone and just trying to make friends with everyone she came across. Rebecca started getting bullied as early as Year 4. The bullying worsened as she entered into Year 8 and Year 9. She was bullied about her appearance, her interests (she was a big fan of Peppa Pig, Pokemon, & Everything’s Rosie). She was also bullied for her size as she was small for her age. She was bullied verbally & physically. She was pushed and punched on a few occasions. One particular student had thrown soup into her face, another incident involved juice. Some of the girls at her school would tell her to kill herself, that nobody loved her. She also had an incident with a teacher who had told her “you are nothing but a waste of space in the classroom.” Multiple attempts went into reporting every incident of the bullying and the school said they would do something, that there would be a stop put to the bullying, and there never was. Rebecca took her own life on the 28th of April in 2016.
Janelle Wilson | Age 11back
Janelle was 11 years old and from Canada. She started getting bullied in Grade 1 by students in her class. Students would say “yuck” when they saw her, some pushed her away. By Grade 3 things started getting worse. She was called “stupid” “ugly” and “dumb.” Some students would push her into doors in the hallway, steal her supplies, and kick her. In Grade 5 students would slam her books to the floor, one even tore pages out of them, she still got shoved into doors, punched or kicked. She got spit at, food thrown at her, and was told to kill herself. Janelle reported the bullying continuously and nothing was ever done. One day a group of students were surrounding her outside during a free time day outside, and a boy had thrown a punch to her face, she pushed the boy away twice. The first time she attempted to stand up to her bully Janelle was suspended, the student who punched her or any of the other students were not suspended. She tried telling a school faculty member again with nothing being done. We lost Janelle in 2017 on the 10th of January.
Noah Wojcicki | Age 12back
Noah was a 12 year old from Montana. He loved cats, he had gotten two feral cats that were always together that eventually warmed up to him after caring for them when they used to be outside, and he took them in and ever since they stayed inside. He always smiled and enjoyed science and playing chess. He was bullied in school for being shy, having a stutter, having food allergies, having trouble in sports/gym class, and even his looks. He was called many different things, from big toothed spaz, worthless shrimp, idiot, etc. He was physically bullied as well. His lunch was thrown to the ground several times, and stomped on. He tried telling a school employee (his social studies teacher) about being bullied and was told “it is one thing to picked on by one or two, but eight? Maybe the problem has more to do with you, sorry buddy.” He no longer spoke about the bullying after that. We lost Noah on November, 16th, 2015.
Liam Nicholas | Age 13back
Liam was 13 years old and from Michigan. He loved animals especially cats & cardinals, loved gaming, toy cars & trucks, Pokemon, and loved the St. Louis Cardinals. He always wanted to visit Ireland. He always tried to make friends and was kind, sweet and helpful to everyone. He had Autism so social situations were a challenge for him but he always tried making friends and wanted to be in a group. He was never given that. He was bullied at school. Kids would call him names, physical bullying where he got spit at, kicked, punched, and water thrown at him. We tried reporting it to the school and nothing was done, so he went to a different school. He got bullied within the first couple of days there and went through one month of being verbally bullied and was told to kill himself. A lunch meal that had gravy in it was thrown at him, and he was punched and shoved by other students. Every attempt into reporting the bullying failed, the school said something would be done, and not much was done. We lost Liam on May, 5th, 2014.
Phoebe Yuan | Age 13back
Phoebe was 13 years old and from Illinois. Phoebe loved collecting stuffed animals, Pokemon, flamingoes and going to the stores. Phoebe was treated differently from the very start in Kindergarten. She had Autism and Epilepsy. Nobody wanted to be friends with her. Every school year, she was being bullied by someone. By the 6th grade the bullying got much worse. She was shoved, kicked, punched, spit at, and told to kill herself and that she was a nobody. By 7th grade she was getting kicked or punched daily, being told she was stupid, worthless, and told by an 8th grade student “you are a waste of a life, you have no talent.” Phoebe was being verbally abused by teachers as well. She was told by a math teacher “why are you in a school? You are unable to do anything on your own, you are taking up a seat and should give it up to a student that can actually learn.” She also went through verbal abuse from her science, social studies, and reading teacher. The school was of no help, the school staff dismissed all claims by Phoebe being bullied by other students. One day before her passing she told a teacher for the first time about the verbal abuse from teachers, she was not believed and was told to stop being erratic. We lost Phoebe on February, 21, 2012.
Tyrone Owens | Age 14back
Tyrone was from West Virginia. He loved anime and creating art. He started getting bullied early on. Kids telling other kids to not be his friend, pushing him away, calling him ugly, and spitting at him. Things just got worse in middle and high school. He was bullied significantly about his appearance, he was made fun of for the way he read and wrote, he was punched, kicked, and slammed onto the floor. His school supplies would be stolen from him during class, one student even tore pages out of the book. Students screamed into his ear. He was told to kill himself numerous times, reporting it to the school many times failed and nothing was ever done. He started eating his lunch in the bathroom every single day, he would have panic attacks having to go to gym class or when he would have to read aloud due to the bullying. A senior student at the school had told him “you are a failure, a failure to life even, it would be the greatest honor to everyone if you could kill yourself.” Tyrone tried reporting the incident again and nothing was done. At the age of 14 we lost Tyrone on January 24th, 2019.
Daisy Kerley | Age 15back
Daisy was a 15 year old from Arkansas. Daisy loved caring for animals, and making others smile. She had learning delays and Apraxia of speech. She started getting bullied in the 3rd grade. She was bullied for trying to speak, she was called stupid, dumb, slow, ugly, pig, freak, and many other words. The bullying continued on and off in Elementary school. In the 7th grade she was told by another student to kill herself and that she was unlovable. The bullying got worse in high school, she was bullied by the same group of boys and girls for several months. The group of boys would punch, kick, pinch, spit, and pull her hair, and call her names. The group of girls would call her names, and stick notes into her locker as well. One of the girls told her to kill herself because she was undesirable and witless. Her math/algebra teacher would make fun of her math difficulties in front of the whole class, nobody spoke up for her. Daisy was suspended after pushing away a male student who was attempting to shove her down the stairs. We lost Daisy in 2016 on December 2nd.
Léonie Kurzydlowski | Age 9back
Léonie was a nine year old from Austria. She loved anything pink and purple, bows, glitter, and unicorns and loved helping out at home. She was much smaller than other kids her age. She started getting bullied at the age of seven. She was bullied by the same aged kids and older kids at her school. She was bullied for always wanting to carry a stuffed animal, called many different names in Austrian the English translation she was being called “fat, ugly fat beast, dummy, and big baby.” At the age of nine she wanted to try having short hair, something she wanted to do since she was six, and because it was her birthday, we allowed it since she wanted it so badly. She was still being bullied, but after having the short hair she was bullied for having “boy hair” and an older group of kids began punching and kicking her. She kicked back and at that moment a teacher looks to her direction. Léonie was sent home for ten days. Previous attempts reporting the bullying failed every time being told “kids being kids it will not matter when she grows up” or “a teacher or other adult must physically see the bullying going on” and many other unhelpful, negative responses. When she told school staff the bullies made her “super sad” she was told she was too young and couldn’t understand true sadness, and to avoid the kids she was saying that were bullying her. Léonie passed away on 10, March, of 2011
Sergio Barrios | Age 14back
Sergio Enrique’s name means servant leader, which he lived up to by helping and defending others. He was thoughtful, humble, intuitive, silly, and had his own style. He dearly loved his friends, family, dogs, playing guitar, Fortnite, and ice skating. He made the world a better place and will be missed. We lost Sergio on February 20, 2020, at the age of 14.