“This needs to be a wake up call that teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country and the death rate is climbing. One life lost in a senseless way is tragic, four lives lost is a crisis.” –Ellen DeGeneres
I’m not sure when it started for you, but it started for me around this time last year when I heard about a boy named Billy Lucas from my home-state of Indiana (his town was Greensberg, mine is Evansville.) who committed suicide because of bullying. Then, shortly there after, the Tyler Clementi story emerged, about a boy from Rutgers University who took his own life because of bullying. Then another story, and another story, and another. The latest, tragic, death by bullying is from a young boy named Jamey Rodemeyer.
This leads me to ask, when will this stop? When will these stories, these incidents, these deaths, be viewed as not coincidental, but because of a hate crime that occurs daily — bullying.
I’m not sure how many of you have kept up, or even read, the stories about suicides caused by bullying, but it’s something that always pulls my heartstrings.. Recently, upon hearing about the death of Jamey, I was just so disturbed and upset that such a young boy, with so much to offer the world, would be tormented so much to take his own life. There are reports that the ones who bullied him told him he should end his own life… and he did. Can you imagine? Children telling your child, your friend, your brother/sister, or even you, that the world would be better without you? What kind of child, what kind of mind or heart (or lack there of), would a person have to have — a child, no less — to tell another child such things?
Then, to add salt to an open wound, Jamey’s sister was at a homecoming dance recently. No doubt, she was trying to escape the reality she has had to face lately of her younger brother’s demise, and trying to enjoy her night, when those who bullied her younger brother started yelling and chanting at her that they were glad he’s dead, and he’s better off that way…
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