Eastern holds anti-bullying conference

Luis Martinez, Staff Reporter

He told his son several times to ignore his bully, but after he realized that teachers were ignoring it as well because the bully was a football player, he finally encouraged his son to fight back.

Allen Beane, who is now an anti-bullying activist, shared his son’s experience Friday at the Bridging Voices in Our Community Bullying Prevention Conference.

“My boy was bullied in seventh grade,” Beane said. “He came home one day and said ‘Dad there’s this boy at school who’s fighting me, pushing me, knocking the books out of my hands; he’s been doing this for a long time.’”

Beane first told his son to ignore this boy.

After some time, his son, Curtis, returned to school and Beane believed that everything was OK.

However, Beane received a phone call from his son’s school saying that his son was an emotional wreck.

“When I got him home, I sat him down and saw that he was shaking so much and all of a sudden I became concerned about his emotional health,” Beane said.

Beane then told his son that the next time someone did this to him, he should fight him—and win.

One day, when Curtis’ bully hit the back of his head in class, Curtis responded by getting his bully in a headlock and punching him.

Beane then transferred his son to another school where he was able to fit in.

Curtis suffered a car accident during his early high school life, which led to him to lose two fingers.

After the accident, he was once again bullied, Beane said.

While some helped him, many still brought him back down.

Beane said he discovered how much his son was bullied after he graduated high school when he had already started to develop anxiety and depression issues.

Years later, Curtis called his father at work and told him that he found some friends who gave him some attention, but they also did some things Curtis did not agree with.

Beane said the situation concerned him.

“It worried me a lot, but I didn’t want to ask too many question because I think he would have thought I was questioning his way of dealing with his depression,” Beane said.

Upon receiving Curtis’ phone call, Beane saw his son.

“He came by in his car and he waved at me and he had this great big, beautiful smile and that was the last time I saw him alive,” Beane said.

He said Curtis died of a methamphetamine overdose.

“Drugs killed my son, but he was already dead somewhat on the inside by how people treated him,” Beane said.

Beane now shares his son’s story with others in order to tell them about the harm that bullying can do to someone.

He gave those present at the conference some tips on how to recognize and deal with bullying.

An example is to pull the victim out of the situation, ignore the bully, and just talk to him.

A suggestion he gave for victims is to try to diffuse the situation with humor, get away and notify someone of authority.

Beane and his wife are authors of several anti-bullying books and give presentations around the country at different schools and conferences.

Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]