In a day and age where bullying among teens is on the rise and in the news just about every day, many schools are struggling to curb bullying behavior among their students. Some schools go above and beyond the norm by hiring an unconventional public speaker known only as “The Scary Man” to teach their students how harmful the effects of bullying can be on their peers.
A recent report from CNN report spotlights the The Scary Man, a former tattoo artist covered head to toe in ink and piercings, and his odd way of speaking to kids that many school officials swear works to end bullying. With a high price tag of $6,500 a day, The Scary Man does not come cheap. His highest pay out for an anti-bullying appearance was $20,000 paid by a Minnesota community for a two-week stay.
With no formal education or background in public speaking, Scary Man relies mainly on shock value when performing in front of teens. By groaning, rubbing his tattooed belly, spitting apples out of his mouth, and making fun of kids and teachers in the audience Scary Man conveys a pretty ugly portrait of a bully. And it is through this picture that he hopes to show kids how not to act. Scary man explains that his performance is to “"show [kids] they have the power to make the choice to be who they want to be and not become what they see and hear around them."
Though many principals and other school officials believe strongly in how effective Scary Man is to put a stop to bullying, there are some who are not convinced. Principal Kerry Juntunen of Hermantown, Minnesota says, “You can have these kinds of folks come in and they are, in a sense, a bit of a mercenary -- a one-time, one-shot deal. Does that really change kids' lives? And my answer is no."
What do you think of The Scary Man’s unconventional approach to combating bullying in schools?
What do you think schools should do to get the word out about the dangers of bullying?