We are a grassroots organization dedicated to ending the culture of school bullying and raising awareness about youth suicide.
We believe that school boards must take action on school violence in a real and meaningful way. Children must know that their school is safe, and the adults in charge will support and protect them. By working with teachers and school boards to help implement anti-bullying and crisis support programs, we intend to bring about change for the better in our school systems. The cost to our society in lost potential and increased violence is too great to ignore and cannot continue. No child should be scared to get an education. No parent should fear for their child's safety in school.
We believe the youth culture of violence and hyper-conformity must change. Our children need to be able to express their individuality and feel safe to discover who they are without fear of being singled out. The culture of standing by while others are abused and tormented must end. We will encourage and assist students in creating a spirit of equality and honour between individuals, and to stand up for victims of abuse. We believe this will give them hope and allow them to follow their dreams, to the benefit of us all as a society.
His Name Was Steven was founded in May of 2010 by Steven's father, Mike Urry. After several years of mourning the death of his son, Mr. Urry decided to do something positive to help kids and teens dealing with bullying. Having only a few resources, he decided to write about Steven and his tragic death, hoping it would lead to better things. Joining Facebook™ as a way of reaching out, Mr. Urry discovered that thousands of people were concerned about bullying and the devastating effect of teen suicide.
Encouraged by the positive response to his writing, and wanting to do more, he started the first HNWS page. A local student run anti-bullying group called Speak Out contacted Mr. Urry and asked him if he would be willing to be interviewed for a documentary being created by the group's founder, Alix Vander Vlugt. The film was later honoured with an award from the Honolulu Film Awards in 2012. At the suggestion of a friend, Mr Urry then decided to create a website, which eventually became this blog. The same year, Mr. Urry was invited to testify before the Standing Committee on Social Policy about a new anti-bullying law to be implemented in Ontario.
HNWS's main work quickly became geared towards publishing news and resources for the anti-bullying cause. Throughout this time, he continued talking to students, parents, teachers, media and elected officials, trying to raise awareness and encourage change for the better in schools. Once again, the film world was entered the picture when Mr Urry was contacted by Joel Greenberg, of Jomar Entertainment Group from Burbank California. Mr Greenberg had written and produced the educational film "Ironsides" and was looking for written pieces for the companion book. Steven's story was honoured to be chosen to be included in the final chapter entitled Real Stories.
Currently Mr Urry continues to spread the word about bullying and writing about the issue, while reviewing and publicizing anti-bullying and teen suicide resources and news. The organization consists of Founder, Director, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer Mike, VP of Support and Encouragement, his loving wife Pam, VP of Enthusiasm and Hugs, their wonderful daughter Tasha, and the Franken-puter, a cobbled together box of technical peculiarities pretending to be a PC.
His Name Was Steven is located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.