CLARK — When national presenter John Halligan facilitates three Bullying and Anti-Bullying Programs at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark on Feb. 9, his audience is expected to include several members of the New Jersey Legislature.
Halligan, whose son Ryan committed suicide at age 13 in 2003, facilitates student assembly programs and evening parent workshops throughout the nation and Canada on the topics of bullying and cyber-bullying. Halligan has dedicated the rest of his life to visiting as many schools as possible to share Ryan’s story and the powerful healing messages of forgiveness and unconditional love.
Halligan, whose visit was arranged and facilitated by Arthur L. Johnson High School Principal Richard Delmonaco and Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops, will be putting on three programs during his visit to Clark. A morning assembly program for eighth and ninth graders will be followed by an afternoon assembly program for sophomores and juniors. An evening parent program is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Arthur L. Johnson Auditorium.
With the recent overwhelming passage of the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights legislation by the New Jersey Legislature, Knops extended an invitation to Assembly and Senate sponsors and co-sponsors of the bill to attend Halligan’s programs in the Clark School District.
Senate bill co-sponsor Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) planned to attend the morning assembly program while Assembly co-sponsors Mila Jasey (D-Essex) from the 27th Legislative District, Joan Voss (D-Bergen) and DiAnne Gove (R-Atlantic) and Assembly Education Chair Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) are expected to be in attendance during the afternoon assembly program.
Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), Senate sponsor of the bill, planned to be in attendance along with Assembly sponsor Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth) from the 11th Legislative District during the evening parent presentation. Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Morris) Senate co-sponsor of the legislation, also planned to attend one of the sessions.
Commenting on the upcoming program, Knops said, “Principal Rick Delmonaco and I wanted to take a strong proactive and educational stance regarding bullying and anti-bulling in our schools. Last July we arranged John Halligan’s visit to district. In my prior district, we had Mr. Halligan present, and his message was extremely well received by an extremely attentive audience.
“Once the Legislature so overwhelmingly passed the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, I thought it would be a nice touch to invite those legislatures who were such visionaries in proposing cutting edge legislation on bullying and harassment. I’m delighted that we’ll be having esteemed members of the New Jersey Legislature who should be credited with creating the most proactive anti-bullying legislation in the nation come into our district for this event.
“I think John Halligan’s visit to our district will be a touching and memorable event that will make an indelible impression on our students, staff, and parents. I have a great deal of respect for John, his message, and his life’s work and am pleased his message will be shared in our school community.”
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