Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Bullying Hurts

I am an expert on bullying because my life was irrevocably changed because of it. I am the worst-case scenario, and I am here to let you know that if this can happen to me, it can happen to you.

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

My youngest son Shane committed suicide in April 2018. He was only 11 years old. Soon after, I learned that he was being bullied. He was humiliated and abused simply for his deep passion of Broadway Theater – something not only did we do together, but something that I introduced him to. Many have asked me how I could possibly not have known the pain he was in. The fact of the matter is, I honestly didn’t. I am haunted by this fact every single day, and for the rest of my life I will be searching for answers to questions that I know I’ll never find: What did I miss? How could I not have known? What could I have done to save my son’s life?

In the months since that day, I have also become a very reluctant role-model for many because of the perceived strength and perseverance throughout this $hItstorm that I have managed to portray to the outside world because I vehemently refuse to allow Shane’s death to be in vain. Somehow, I have been able to channel my energy into making change. Do I have pain and anger? Of course, I do. Am I ready to forgive? I’d like to say that I am, but I am not yet there. Shane has a story to tell people, and he has lessons to teach them. Shane will save lives, because he can.

I have made it my life’s mission to ensure that what happened to Shane doesn’t happen to another child. In doing so, I have created a foundation in Shane’s name called Shane’s Imagine-Nation. The foundation recognizes and rewards kids who stand up and speak out against bullying, and kids that exemplify kindness. For, these are the true heroes in this world. The definition of a hero is someone who displays courage in the face of adversity. Oftentimes, doing the right thing is the very hardest to do. Perhaps had someone said or did one nice thing to Shane that day, he would still be here. Perhaps not. I’ll never know. I have dedicated my life to ensuring that what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else. Because in this myriad of uncertainty and desperate attempts to just get out of bed in the morning, I know one thing to be certain: If this can happen to me, it can happen to you.

I am speaking through Shane’s voice, and hoping that his story will help save others.

Please check out all of the resources I have created and published on Shane's site (

My efforts are grassroots at this time, and I can use all the help and support I can to get through this hell. XOXOXO, Sandy

#makeshaneproud #shanesimaginenation #kindisthenewcool


This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.