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      Taking the bully out of schools

      More than 4,500 students in Quincy got an up close and personal look at the effects of teen bullying Wednesday.

      Motivational speaker and juvenile homicide trainer Phil Chalmers introduced what he calls the truth behind the lies.

      Phil Chalmers gave "in-your-face" presentations during his True Lies Assembly that had both students and adults talking.

      Chalmers is an American author, television personality, motivational speaker to teens, and a juvenile homicide trainer. He is the author of the popular book Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer, his 25 year study on why teens kill, and how to stop them. Chalmers interviewed over 200 teen killers and school shooters while writing the book. He is also the author of the popular teen book True Lies: 30 Lies That Are Killing This Generation.

      "I believe that there's a lot of lies in their culture, a lot of lies in their entertainment and I believe someone needs to bring the truth to them in a way they could hear," Chalmers said.

      Wednesday, high school and junior high school students around Adams County were all ears. Chalmers touched on drug abuse, inhalants, drunk driving, crime prevention, bullying, prison life, self-esteem, suicide and signs of suicide, and school violence.

      "There's no doubt that junior high age is the age we need to be hitting first, making sure we are setting it in their minds before they get to that high school setting and we even have adults that are doing the same things," trooper Mike Kindhart, with the Illinois State Police said.

      Images on the screen at Quincy Junior High School's Morrison Theater showed the reality of the violence that can erupt from a few hurtful words.

      "It was really intense. It made me think about how we can affect people and how, if we don't stand up for people who are getting bullied, then serious stuff can happen," Charley Deverger, a freshman said.

      "I looked this guy up last night and watched the video and it really got to you. It made you think," Allison Gabel, a freshman said.

      "What hit me hardest is that kids that didn't look like bullies, kids that were clean and good looking people turned out to be very bad people. Just be careful and watch out what you do. I think every school should see these guys. They're great people and they did a great job," David Gasko, a freshman said.

      "We have done our best, Quincy, to stop kidnapping, to stop school shootings, stop murder, suicide and massacres, and we believe we made an impact here," Chalmers said.

      A fourth presentation will take place at the Morrison Theater at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Then on Thursday, Chalmers will meet with school administrators at the Quincy University Hall of Fame room.

      Do you have a story to tell regarding bullying, crime, or abuse? Chalmers wants to hear it. You can submit your comments here .

      Sponsors of the assembly in Quincy include Crimestoppers, Illinois State Police (Trooper Mike Kindhart), Western Illinois Criminal Justice Council, Regional Office of Education, Quincy Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff's Department.

      You can learn more about Phil Chalmers by checking out his Website .