Meier hits hard on topic that hits home

Another homeroom, another bullying lecture. Some students would call it unnecessary overkill, others, a chance to get some sleep. However, as Tina Meier began speaking and sharing her story, a gymnasium packed with students became captivated by what she had to say.

She spoke of her daughter Megan and the foundation created in her honor, but mostly, she spoke of the world that teens live in. She talked about issues that hit home to some students, some met with silent reactions, some with humorous stirrings. Either way, the students understood the message.

She took seemingly awkward issues head on, refusing to shy away from sexting, relationships and suicide. Trying to differentiate from a lecture, Meier instead wanted to promote the awareness of these issues.

“I never realized how big of a problem it was before. I don’t cyberbully, but I’m going to step in and help if I see it,” junior Jenna Rekosh said.

Meier was able to reach out to more students through her inspirational story of hardship and resilience.

“I thought it was extremely inspirational. It touched those around me and myself,” Rekosh said.

Although a tear jerker, Meier’s story was not her main focus in the presentation.

“We need to get students to stop and think for a while because what we say really impacts people’s lives. I hope they take it in. Words do hurt,” Meier said. “My goal is to make this relatable and not lecture everyone.”

How she uses that tactic prompted Dr. Sonny Arnel to bring Meier back, as she performed the same presentation earlier this year for teachers.

“When we did this earlier, it was about creating an environment for our students to learn and make good choices. Now, for the students, we want to present them with the way things currently are so they can make better choices for themselves,” Arnel said.

If students feel the need for change, Meier welcomes them to attend a workshop related to raising cyberbullying awareness.

“We take 10-15 students a school, and bring them together. We use your voices to make these presentations relatable,” Meier said.

To find out more information about the outreach project, visit meganmeierfoundation.org.