Adlers urge leadership, courage to stop bullying

Mark and Joni Adler have been speaking to school audiences across Nebraska, hoping to bring something positive out of a deep personal tragedy.
It’s always difficult for them to make the presentation, but they hope to get their #BeKind message across during during forums like the one-hour program they gave last Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Boone Central High School Gym.
An estimated 700 people attended the program, including middle and high school students and faculty from Boone Central, St. Michael’s School, Riverside and Cedar Valley.
Sometimes choked by raw emotion, the Adlers shared the story of the Jan. 7, 2016 suicide of their 15-year-old son, Reid, and events leading up to and following his suicide.
Dr. Mark Adler said their son “had a caring heart and loved people, but he wasn’t perfect.” He became the victim of cyberbullying after sending an inappropriate picture to a girl when he was in eighth grade.
“That was his first mistake,” said Dr. Adler, superintendent at Ralston Public Schools. “He knew it was wrong, but he couldn’t get it back and didn’t know how to fix it.”
For more than a year after sending the photo, Reid was a victim of intimidation and lived under the threat that the picture would be posted online.
Dr. Adler said the possible posting of an embarrassing photo was not an insurmountable problem, but it seemed so to Reid.
See complete story in the Oct. 17 Albion News Print Edition.