Keith Deltano is an award winning teacher, educational comedian and curriculum creator. But it didn’t start out that way. He was retained in third grade because he was unable to read and was diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD and APD (Audio Processing Disorder). He did not fit in and was bullied as a result of being unable to do the simplest tasks, like work the combination on his school locker or recite the months of the year.
Keith had some wonderful teachers in Connecticut, but at that time they did not have the medicines and teaching techniques they have now to deal with students with severe learning disabilities. By sixth grade Keith felt he would never get through school. He had bought the lie that he was not smart and would never be anything. Keith used comedy as a coping mechanism. Keith believed what the students and even adults were implying through their comments, jokes, and exclusion: he may be funny and good at football, but he is not smart and will never go anywhere.
Keith believes this is a tragedy that occurs over and over again in American schools. By middle school many students have accepted the lies that have been spoken into their lives: they are too poor, they are not smart enough, their family is dysfunctional, they are not pretty enough, they will never fit in, they are different, weird, other, they aren’t good enough, and on and on and on. Keith makes it a big part of his show to convince students that they do not have to buy the lies that others may be trying to sell them. Keith feels that many students have been bullied into a box and he teaches them how to break out of it.
By high school Keith was depressed and involved in several self-destructive behaviors. At the beginning of his sophomore year, a guidance counselor told him he would never go to college and should just take the minimum class requirements to graduate high school. Keith believed it and the downward spiral continued. Keith’s parents were doing everything they could to keep him in school and on track, but things were getting out of control. He was approached by a football teammate that was concerned about his self-destructive behavior and encouraged him to reach out to his coaches. Keith got help.
When conducting an anti bullying assembly for high schools, Keith talks about this experience. With the cutting epidemic as well as the high rates of teen depression, bulimia, anorexia and teen suicide in the American high school population, Keith believes it is important to address these issues even though it may be uncomfortable to do so. When conducting his anti bullying assembly for middle schools and high schools he feels it is imperative that students know that help is available if they are dealing with bullying, depression, cutting, suicidal ideation, or any other addictions or forms of self harm.
- Youth events
- Creation vs. evolution
- Teen abstinence
- Christmas/seasonal (“I’m dreaming of a stress-free Christmas”)
- Parent seminars; godly fathering
- High School graduations