By Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — Kindergarten to eighth grade students at Piqua Catholic school learned to ROAR on Tuesday afternoon. That is, they learned to Respect Others and Accept Responsibility when it comes to bullying as presented by Jed(lie) Doherty of Boston, Mass., his nation-wide message full of faith, music, laughs, and magic.
“Anytime we help someone feel loved and cared for, we can help them do amazing, magical things,” said Doherty to the students who were eager to participate in this unique presentation of magic and motivation that included the story of his own son, Christopher, who suffered under the duress of a bully in the sixth grade.
Unwilling to tell anyone or ask for help, young Christopher’s suffering continued unabated for weeks even as his peers, some of his own friends, looked on, Doherty explained.
“If someone is hurting you, you have the right and responsibility to ask for help,” said Doherty in an easy-going and empathic manner so as to express his understanding on the difficulty and fear children may face when standing up to a bully. As he went on to explain how the bullying of his son only came to an end when an older eighth grade student had the courage to take responsibility.
“She decided to ROAR,” said Doherty of the student who made the motivational speaker aware of the problem while he was dropping his son off at school one day.
Doherty, along with Christopher’s teacher and the school principle, brought the bullying to an end, letting others know it was wrong to let someone suffer and after that, “Everything changed.”
Not only did Christopher feel safer at school, his classmates started helping one another, and the bully began to understand that life was better when using his strength to build friendships rather than making people feel afraid.
Doherty was joined at Piqua Catholic by his 18 year old daughter, Alejandra, to help spread the message of ROAR and to treat others as you want to be treated.
“We have the responsibility to respond to suffering and to help anyone we see in need,” said Doherty and to make everyone feel a part of the family, whether at school or at home.
For more information on Doherty’s program visit www.jedlie.com.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall