Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge.
Seth Walsh hung himself.
Asher Brown shot himself in the head.
Billy Lucas hung himself.
And now the latest...Jamey Rodemeyer hung himself in his family driveway.
Jamey was only 14 years old. He even did an "It gets better" video on Youtube. You see, Jamey came out. Oh sure, he had lots of support from family and friends. Friends to his face. But, behind his back? Those that hide behind a computer?
Jamey endured tons of cyber-bullying. On facebook...myspace....twitter. But wait, it gets better. At his sister's homecoming there was a tribute to Jamey. And from the crowd of kids there were chants of "Glad your dead." "Good riddance." They even bully a dead person!
I applaud the police in his town. They are going to investigate and see if charges can be filed against his bulliers. If so, this will be landmark. I wish to add to that and have them investigate the school teachers and counselors. They had to be at this homecoming. They should be held in aiding and abetting a crime. But, bullicide is not yet a crime. There is one charge that can be used. Cyber-terrorism is a crime. Has been since 9/11. And cyber-bullying is no different. It spreads terror into the hearts and minds of those receiving it.
I read recently that the Republican candidates for President say that kids should just get over it. That bullying is part of growing up. Growing up? It's alot worse now than when we were kids. We didn't have computers and cell phones that text. With the onset of social media, it has become alot worse for these kids. Facebook..Myspace..Youtube..Twitter..texting...and the like are 24/7. These kids have no safe place from bullyers.
Lady GaGa did a tribute to Jamey in one of her concerts. He loved "Born this way" It lead to his coming out. She is really trying to push hard for anti-bullying laws to be enacted. But until that happens, let me give you a few places to turn to in times of crisis.
These are just a few of the place you can go to for advice on how to handle bullying. And if you know of someone that is considering harm to themselves, there is my favorite, Trevortalktome.org.
So this National Coming Out Day...Oct.11th...Lets make it a safe one for our younger generation. Coming out shouldn't be life threatening.
UPDATE....UPDATE......As of Oct.5th, one of the students who yelled slurs at the homecoming dance during Jameys tribute, has been suspended. This is believed to be the one who yelled "Your better off dead." Finally the a school is stepping up to the plate. Let this become the example to other schools.