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Dozens attend seminar for bullying prevention in honor of teen who took his own life

Bullying prevention seminar held in Tarpon Springs
Posted at 10:47 PM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 15:21:01-05

Parents say there are so many ways their children are faced with bullying that it is hard to keep up. On Friday, a local martial arts studio held free training to give students the tools to fight back.

Dozens of students from elementary to high school attended the event at Achieve Family Martial Arts and Fitness Center.

The seminar held after 13-year-old Jack Martin, a Carwise Middle School student, took his own life on Jan. 5.

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“What happened was a tragic situation,” Tim Canavan, a parent who attended the training with his two children, said. “We are looking for ways to contribute and help our kids and teach our kids how to handle the situation. It is hard to get answers out of them; you have to pull the answers out of them; you can’t give up. You just have to keep asking the questions cause they don’t want to tell you what’s happening.”

ABC Action News reporter Heather Leigh spoke to Jack’s parents on Wednesday. They shared their story in the hopes that it would save others.

The tools parents and students learned will hopefully defend against bullies in the future and stop another tragedy from happening.

“A way of self-defense you are showing the bully you don’t want to fight,” Lucas Canavan, 11, said.

Lucas attends the same school Jack did. He said bullies are a reality he’s dealt with before too.

“It brings your self-esteem down. You don’t feel confident, and it kind of just ruins your whole day,” Lucas said. “In the future, [if] I see somebody getting picked on or I get picked on, I know how to deal with it.”

For more information on how to stop bullying, click here.