Tina Meier addresses issues of cyberbullying
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Bluntly and in your face, speaker Tina Meier is fearless when telling the story of her daughter’s suicide. In 2006, Meier’s daughter Megan committed suicide after being bullied on social media. Since then, Meier has made it her goal to make students more aware about the problems of bullying. On Wednesday, she shared her experience and lessons with the student body during an advisory period.
“This started because of Megan and I know she’s always with me,” Meier said. “It’s really taking her with me to each presentation and trying to inspire students to think of other people. It also helps us too.”
Meier has traveled to 36 different states to talk to students about the importance of cyberbullying awareness. She is constantly changing her presentation to fit the problems going on at the moment in order to grab the students’ attentions.
“I really use my whole presentation from things I have learned from students all over the country,” Meier said. “It’s real situations and real subjects. [Adults] shy back from talking to [students] openly because it’s not comfortable. [Adults] think that maybe that’s not appropriate to do but then they don’t really get to the main issues and they don’t get [students] to pay attention.”
Meier understands what students go through on a daily basis.
“I think in the world today, students are filled with so many things,” Meier said. “They hear about all of the things going on out in the world. They’re dealing with academics and sports and friends and family and there’s so much stress and pressure.”
However, she still believes that students have time to make a difference.
“Sometimes we put ourselves in that place of, ‘I don’t have any time to worry about anyone else. It’s not my problem, it’s their problem,’” Meier said. “When many times, even though we’re going through things, we can sometimes still lend a helping hand to another person.”
Meier also emphasized on the importance of empathy and realizing what another person could be going through in their home.
“Then bringing Megan’s story in,” Meier said. “It really ties that story in to get everybody to kind of now think of those things that we say face to face and ‘it’s just a joke’ or the things that we put through social media and we think well, ‘It’s not my problem, it’s not a big deal. I didn’t start it, they started it.’”
Meier explained that it is difficult to help someone if another person doesn’t know what they’re going through.
“I think if we have empathy and understanding of other people, we’re more willing to step up and just use a voice to support another person. That’s always my whole hope.”