A nationally known author, speaker and TV personality spent the day at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling on Tuesday talking to kids about everything from cigarettes to suicide.
Phil Chalmers has studied youth culture for 25 years, and says cigarettes, drugs and alcohol are not the whole story; there is also bullying, sexting, even suicide, kidnapping and murder.
The live presentation to local school students covered every imaginable scenario, including one in which Chalmers used a girl from the audience to demonstrate how to stop a kidnapper.
He also used pictures to show what meth does to teeth, and he said nude images that kids send to each other go far beyond the intended recipient.
Chalmers also addressed bullying and said after studying school shootings, he says many bullies end up dead. “A lot of the school shooters I’ve talked to came back to the school looking for their bullies and sometimes they got ’em. Bullying kills. Bullying is deadly,” said Chalmers. Wheeling Park High School student Jose Torres continued, “Like everyday people, and you see this stuff going on and you see people getting bullied and you think ‘oh it’s nothing, they’ll just get over it.’ And sometimes it’s not like that.”
Chalmers presented two shows for kids and one for parents. His message for parents was equally compelling. “Biggest thing I would say to parents is really spend time with your kids. Never put your kids on cruise control. If you put your kids on cruise control in this society, they’ll be devoured by the culture.”