Mr. and Mrs Epling,
I am so sorry about your loss. As a Dad I can't begin to understand what you have been through. I have so much admiration for you for your ability to turn pain into advocacy to help others. Thank you for your service.
Sincerely, Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
(from a personal note sent after the national summit in 2011)
Middle Schools/ High School Students
"Thank you for what you are doing in memory of Matt."
"I am bullied all the time. I have turned to cutting and I need help" (Principal was next to me and handled the situation)
"I saved my friend from suicide last year because of bullies, thank you"
"You need to come to our School. I am going to talk with our Principal tomorrow."
"Thanks I learned a lot"
"Thank you for coming to our school, I will be a Hero in the Hallway."
"I will be a Defender in my school."
"Today you taught me to stand up for other people."
"Thank you! I will be an agent of change in my school."
"Thank you for the great presentation-you rock"
"I know our school learned a big lesson today."
"Thank you, I hope everyone got as much out of it as I did."
"Thanks this will help"
"I was in attendance with my school counselor, a parent and 8 of my students. You provide a great message that I think all students, parents and staff need to hear. It is always amazing what can happen when we let students show us how to handle a problem. Thanks for the message that you provide to all of us. If there is anything we can do to help at our school, please don't hesitate to contact me."
Kevin, I have not had a chance to tell you how much I enjoyed your session at our conference. Your session was the only one I stayed to the end. I liked the message and how you focused on the positive progress occurring across the country. I think we need to hear more of that!
"Best presentation, ever, that I have seen on this topic."
"Better equipped to to go back and revise policies"
"Presentation gives a starting place to move forward"
"A must for all schools/Empowering!"
"Well prepared and passionate"
"Makes me want to do more"
"Excellent presentation: We need to find a way to get you in every school in MI"
"Covered all the bases"
"Students are already using your quotes and stats, amazing"
"I wasn't sure how you'd keep them quiet for an hour but you did. They were riveted!"
"An eye opener. I had no clue."
" I learned a lot. I have to look at things differently."
"You made an impact, kids were already talking about it in class after the assembly."
'Great use of audio,video,music and lecture."
"I attended your Bullying Seminar at Immanuel Lutheran church on Wednesday Oct. 7 and greatly enjoyed it. What a wonderful thing you are doing to help our children, thank you! I was very moved by your story about your son, and am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers"
"Great presentation! Thank you and your family"
"All I hear is good things about your presentation"
" Moving presentation,ready to go back to the classroom and do something about bullying."
"Five out of Five!"
"Your lecture is an eye opener".
"Thank you for sharing your important story"
"Thank you for not being silent."
"What a legacy for Matt"
"Sorry for your loss, but what a difference you are making."
"Bullycide, very interesting and thought provoking."
"Great Opener-He is a great champion for all victims of bullying."
"Thank you to Matt's parents! It drives the point home. Thank you for opening our hearts and our minds."
"Keep up the good fight!"