Vigil for Tyler Long - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Vigil for Tyler Long

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CHATSWORTH, GA. (WRCB-TV) - David Long and his wife Tina were bolstered Tuesday night by their friends and neighbors. "I couldn't ask for anything better tonight," he said, amazed by the turn-out. Their anti-bullying vigil joined other such remembrances nationwide, but here on the steps of the Murray County Courthouse, on this night, the focus is on their son Tyler, his memory and what his legacy can be.

Last October, Tyler, a 17-year old junior at Murray County High School, hanged himself...the victim of bullying. His parents have been on a crusade, ever since, to expose the problem, support the victims and press for punishment of bully behavior. "Whatever I can do to help the next child not go through the same thing Tyler did," said David Long. "I'll do whatever I have to do."

Tuesday's theme was "Stand for the Silent. Along with pictures and candles and other objects you would expect to find at a vigil like this, the Longs offered a pledge for participants to sign. They are aiming for awareness and a change in peoples' hearts and attitudes "Be compassionate to your fellow man," David said. "Work with each other. Don't take somebody's dignity from them because once you do that, you take their life."

"People taking a stand for each other," added Tina, "being there for each other. We've got a pledge to sign on the table stating that you'll help one another, be nice to one another; it's really as simple as that."

The Long family has filed a lawsuit against Murray County Schools, and the high school principal claiming they failed to step in and save their son's life. If a settlement is not reached by November, the case could go to trial.

According to the web site "How to Stop Bullying," one out of every four kids is bullied.  Each day 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied and one in five kids admit to being a bully.

By: Greg Glover
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