Shelby students learn to ‘say something’ to prevent bullying, suicide, exploitation, addiction. 

October 25, 2022

Shelby students learn to ‘say something’ to prevent bullying, suicide, exploitation, addiction. 

Tiger Pride is a presentation of Shelby Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press. 

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

SHELBY — Shelby middle and high school students received a powerful and electrifying lesson during assemblies Monday, Oct. 24, that focused on preventing bullying, suicide, exploitation, addiction and other serious issues facing teens.

The energetic Say Something Assembly crew visited schools in Shelby, Pentwater, Hart, Mason County Central and Ludington during a recent trip to the area.

Their presentation grabs students’ attention with massive video screens and a bumping sound system. 

“We’re human and we’re always going to make mistakes, but it’s how you get through them,” said DJ Cadillac, who told the students that he attempted suicide in November of 2015. Luckily, his friend found him and saved his life, he said. He described high points in his life such as connecting with celebrities like rap legend Snoop Dog and low points of serving time in prison.

“Every student in the room has experienced some form of bullying,” said Caleb Monson, including both victims and bullies. Now, technology is making it easier for bullies. 

“People will say things they would never say in person, but they say it on their cell phone.”

Leah Daughdrill shared the tragic story of her childhood, which was plagued by addiction. Leah said her mom turned her over to her grandparents, because her mother was an addict. Her grandfather was an alcoholic — “he was the town drunk,” she said. And, she was bullied due to being multiracial.

Eventually, sports helped her deal with her struggles. “I gave everything I had to softball.” 

She recalled being offered her first drug by a family member. Eventually, she was high all the time. “I became an addict and got kicked off the team.” Her grandmother died of a drug overdose, as well as other family members. 

She eventually sought help through Teen Challenge. “They supported and hugged me and said, ‘It’s OK to not be OK.’”

She encouraged the students to take notice of other kids’ struggles and help. “Be the person that notices the people around you.”

SMS teachers compete in a dance challenge.

Andrew Dawson spoke of the heartbreak he endured when his 4-year-old daughter Chloe was diagnosed with brain cancer. “It hit me — I was never going to waste my life on meaningless things.”

Shelby Middle School students have been working on activities in October for Bullying Prevention Month, said Principal Jessica Danielson. “Our school counselor Rachel Dobben has been going to classrooms talking about what bullying is — mean moments, teasing, conflict — and being kind.” 

Separate assemblies were held in the Shelby High School gym for both middle school and high school students, said Danielson.

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Teachers compete in a dance challenge.

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