HOLYROOD — Interwoven with a story about his dog, Starbuck, who hid under the couch because he was bullied, Kevin Honeycutt, a technology integration specialist at Essdack in Hutchinson, talked to USD 112 students about using technology safely, using technology for learning, and kindness. Honeycutt travels throughout the U.S. with his presentation.
Starbuck, the dog, hid under the couch because he was being bullied by another dog Hector and his fellow henchman. Hector wouldn’t let Starbuck eat or drink or play with the other dogs. Hector snarled at Starbuck, Honeycutt told the audience.
"Some dogs wanted to help, but they were afraid. Starbuck was sad and not learning tricks," said Honeycutt, who also said the story was true.
He explained that in Starbuck’s brain, the dog had a little part that made him scared so that he couldn’t learn. Every night, Hector had a normal evening, but Starbuck had a stomachache.
"If you are a popular kid you have power," said Honeycutt. "How do you use it?"
So Honeycutt bought Starbuck for half price. For six months, Starbuck continued to hide under the couch because he was hurt in a place no one could see, said Honeycutt.
The presentation is based upon Honeycutt’s book, "Don’t Stay Under the Couch: Starbuck and The Bully".
The speaker told the students that people could be mean, too, and encouraged the students to be a HERO- an acronym for: help rescue the victim, educate others and don’t be a henchmen, report bullying to an adult, and offer friendship.
Honeycutt also spoke about using the internet for learning, and showed applications that could be used to play the drums or many other instruments. He played his electric guitar, which Honeycutt told the students took many hours to learn. He had to practice and practice until his fingers hurt.
Cyberbullying can also occur. Honeycutt also spoke about sending hateful texts that you would not send in person.
Using technology safely was also a theme. "The computer belongs in the family room," Honeycutt added. "You should only chat (internet) with people you know in real life."
His message was well received by both children and adults. Honeycutt ended his message challenging kids to do good things with technology and others.