John O’Leary welcomes anti-bully advocate Tina Meier on the Live Inspired Podcast to share her personal story and the life-saving work in honor or her daughter Megan.
Studies show that more than one out of every five students will be bullied this year. Chances are this is happening to someone you know and care about. With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, today’s guest is a reminder that everyone’s actions matter and we all have a role to play in bullying prevention.
Tina Meier’s life changed on October 16, 2006 when her 13-year-old daughter Megan took her own life following a cruel cyberbullying hoax.
On a mission to support and inspire actions to end bullying, cyberbullying and suicide since Megan’s death, Tina founded Megan Meier Foundation. By empowering our society to celebrate individuality and the acceptance of others, Tina believes we can work together to make a difference and create a safer and kinder world.
Today, Tina shares how she took her vengeance and turned it into a purposeful mission that’s making an impact.
- When Tina was nine, her father had a grand mal seizure and was diagnosed with a brain tumor, giving him only six months to live.
- When Megan was in third grade and struggling to fit in, Tina began to recognize the struggles her daughter was facing.
- Finding a balance between giving Megan her privacy yet still protecting her, Tina allowed her to have a MySpace profile but with restrictions.
- October 17, 2006: After an exchange of unkind messages between Megan and a boy, she took her own life weeks before her 14th birthday.
- Weeks after her death, Tina found out the Josh Evans account was fake and created by a mother in the area.
- The person behind the cyberbullying campaign was indicted and found guilty by a jury yet the judge chose not to carry out a sentence.
- Today, as Founder and Executive Director of the Megan Meier Foundation, Tina visits schools to inspire actions to end bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide.
- As a caregiver, Tina reminds us the importance of actively listening to our children, validating their feelings, asking what they need help with and revisiting the conversation later.
- Aside from asserting themselves into a situation, kids can be upstanders to others by sharing kind words, offering acceptance and providing inclusion to others.
- Learn more about the Megan Meier Foundation here.
Did you enjoy today’s episode?
You’ll want to hear my conversation with Lizzie Velasquez. Born with an extremely rare medical condition, Lizzie was ridiculed by her outward appearance. Today, Lizzie has learned to embrace her differences, stand up to bullies and inspires kindness around the world. Hear Lizzie Velasquez on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 71.
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TINA MEIER'S LIVE INSPIRED 7
- Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
A. I don’t read much but I love listening to Brené Brown and watching your story. [Hear my conversation with Brené Brown from ep. 103. Watch MLB Network's Jack and the Kid piece here.]
- Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
A. How innocent the world was.
- Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
A. When Megan was in elementary school, she made this little bunny rabbit.
- Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
A. Megan. I’d want to know if she was proud of me. I’d want her to know how much I love her and how much her life has made an impact in this world.
- Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A. Listen and validate.
- Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
A. You will be okay. It will be bumpy. Your life matters and there will be purpose.
- Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
A. She made a difference.