Wednesday, September 21, 2011

14 Year Old Kills Himself After Being Bullied



I was not going to write about the death of 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer but then I decided maybe there is someone out there who will read this and either not kill themselves or someone will take a more active interest in someone who has threatened to kill themselves.


For months, Jamey Rodemeyer had been posting online about being bullied at school and called gay and had other insults hurled his way. Throughout the months of postings he constantly referred to suicide and wondered aloud who would help him with the bullying. Members of his school who should all be ashamed of themselves right now posted on Jamey's Facebook that he should kill himself and that no one would care if he was gone. I hope someone finds the people that wrote that stuff and post Jamey's photo on their lockers everyday until they graduate and then follow them to their job scrubbing floors at McDonald's and post it on the outside of the window everyday.

Jamey posted a tribute to Lady GaGa before he killed himself. He knew about the campaign that tells teens that things will get better. That is tough though for a 14 year old who is facing what Jamey faced everyday. The one big question I have in all of this is where are the parents? Not just Jamey's parents, but also the parents of the teens who posted those awful things on Jamey's Facebook. I am hoping they take some responsibility for their child's actions. Jamey's mom thought everything was alright. She said Jamey seemed to be handling all the bullying. Did she read his posts? They are all about suicide.

Jamey did have friends who passed along what he had been writing to school guidance counselors but they chose to ignore the issue. You know, because it is so much easier to do nothing then to prevent the loss of life of a teenager.

If you are a teen who is reading this and is bullied, it does get better. I promise you that when you get out of school, the bullying will stop, the people who bullied you will fade away into nothingness and minimum wage jobs and you will be a stronger person who will be so glad you stuck around to enjoy the rest of your life.

55 comments:

MontanaMarriott said...

This gets me so ANGRY, ARRRGHHH, I am so pissed that these assholes made this poor kids life beyond miserable to the point he would take his own life. I know you are supposed to pray for your enemies but I just have no sympathy for these scumbags, I hope every bully ends up in a special place in hell. Ok, I feel better now, RIP JAMEY.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

That poor boy. My heart is broken for what he endured and what his family is feeling now.

RIP, dear one.

Rita said...

Beautiful Jamey, hope you've found some peace.

To all, it does get better, no matter for what you are being bullied. Life is long, full of new experience, and once away from highschool, you can be anything you want.

Keep your head up, spit back in their faces, write left and right and everywhere anyone of power might listen. Force adults to take action, to not stick their heads in the sand.

To ignorant Americans who still think that normal is white, that normal is heterosexual, that normal is Christian, wake-up, you are the minority, you shame your religion, you shame your country, you shame the human condition.

It breaks my will when seeing someone so young commit suicide. It hurts my soul to know that he did not give himself the chance to experience life to the fullest. RIP Jamey.

JW said...

How does Enty abhor this behaviour but finds nothing wrong in calling Justin Bieber "her"?

Krab said...

Nothing is as easy as it seems. I have a 14 year old daughter who's bullied. Do I know what she posts on Facebook? No. She won't friend me.

So then don't let her have a FB account. How am I supposed to stop her? She just uses a fake name I don't know about.

Does the school care about her being bullied? Of course they don't. They give lip service to caring--heck, I got a pamphlet in the mail today about cyberbullying--but when it comes down to it, they really don't care.

RocketQueen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RocketQueen said...

It should be interesting to watch certain people who comment here come out and call this kid a coward now, the way they do with everyone else who commits suicide. Like they fucking know what they're talking about.

RIP, kid. I hope you have some relief now.

StewMcG said...

Just to echo Krab's comment. The schools don't care. My daughter was stalked, harassed, physically assaulted, and generally bullied by an ex-boyfriend on school grounds. The school did NOTHING... until we went to court and obtained a restraining order. Then they offered to move the sun, the moon and the stars to protect her if we'd drop the order because "it doesn't look good for the school."

Parents, you are the only person with any vested interest in protecting your kids.

bits of moxy said...

I was bullied heavily as a teenager by this one particular group, and that group could rally others to do more damage when they really wanted to. I don't know how I survived, often thinking of ending it all...but there was always something - even small probably trite - that made me not ever go to far. I read these stories today and how these kids are bullied at school and electronically, and it just breaks my heart. It does get better. I really wish there was some organization (like Big Brothers/Big Sisters)that these teens could latch onto. To have someone that maybe wasn't family that could be that moral support.
As for these kids who encouraged him to kill himself, I'd like to see them 15 years from now - hopefully trying to atone for what they contributed to.

BrandieMarie said...

So sad. I really have nothing to say other than RIP. Kids can be so cruel. :-(

Margaret said...

In honor of this post, I just went through my fourteen year old daughter's facebook and chat logs. Line by line.

Have to say, it's different here in the Bay Area. Since Columbine, there is a zero tolerance policy on bullying and cyber bullying and immediate expulsion is enforced. And the "Tolerance" clubs are considered very cool and are well supported.

That said... my girl is working on her second black belt in Kung Fu. It represents an investment of significant parental time and money, but there's a reason. It's worth it.

God help us all.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

It's true, schools are terrible about responding to bullying. And it is even worse in private schools because the "customer" is the parents paying tuition. So if your kid is a bullying little shit, the school will look the other way so as not to disrupt their revenue stream by disciplining the bully. In fact, they'll even pressure the victim and victim's family to STFU about it.

crila16 said...

My brother had Tourette syndrome which hit him right at 13yrs old. He was super popular until then. Then he lost all his friends. They all made fun of him, mimicked him and pushed him around. Girls wouldn't go near him and teacher's punished him for his twitching and burst outs. It was horrible. I one day saw carved into the side of his desk "I hate my life and I want to die." There are no words to how horrible teen abuse is. Kids can be cruel. I don't know how it will ever stop. If the person being abused doesn't have a good support system at home, I don't see how they can get through such a difficult time. They must feel so alone. Thank God my brother did.

cheesegrater15 said...

I was bullied mostly by my brother and sister. The abuse didn't start for me until after school.

I feel for this kid and his family.

kelly said...

Our daughter was bullied all through school, I can't tell you how many times we were at the school complaining to no avail. I wish, in looking back, we would have done a hell of a lot more for her. She is almost 26 now, but has such low self esteem it breaks my heart. Do everything you can if your child is being bullied, learn from our mistakes.

Patty said...

As the parent of teens, my heart breaks for him and his family.

Teens, whatever pain you are enduring now, it is temporary. However, the loss of a loved one is a pain that will go on forever.

Rita said...

Krab and Mary-Stewart: absolutely right, when the parents take action, the rest follow.

Schools are horrible at taking concrete action, teachers and subs witness bullying all the time and do nothing about it.

Yeah, I was bullied when I was 11. Came from another country, had a different accent, was youngest in my class. Nobody did anything, even when I complained. Until one day, this big girl flat out hit me. She actually punched me, while I stood there absolutely surprised. Where I came from, girls did not hit each other... We hit boys. insert eye wink to relieve tension from old memories :)

When that happened, my parents called the cops, hired a lawyer, did not go to the school Principle to talk it out. What do you think happened? The student got expelled, everyone talked about the fact that my parents were suing hers as well as the school. And it all went away.

Actually, some had words with me. Always within limits for fear of parental retribution. But I learned to give words back. Words are strong too, but physical harassment and being ganged-up on is rough, especially when your hormones are going nuts(puberty), and everything and all feelings are so extreme.

Parents are the ONLY proven solution against bullying. Bullying starts at home, so it must be stifled there too.

bluebonnetmom said...

This made my eyes fill with tears. I am so angry, such a waste of a cute little boy's life. For what? Hold all of these little lowlife's legally if not morally responsible. I hope what they did haunts them for the rest of their lives. I was not popular at all in school, had few friends there and could not wait to get out. Unless someone invited me to join them for lunch or I was lucky enough that one of my friends was in the same lunch, I ate lunch alone every day. Sometimes just a hi from someone or just a little conversation made the day more bearable. I have drilled into my children that sometimes a Hello or a smile or calling their "friends" out when they say something really terrible about someone else could make all of the difference to someone who is thinking of suicide. That could be the little something that keeps them going. I always do this even today and I hope that I matter in my small way out in the world. Enty is right, these jerks do peak in middle/high school and then wonder what in the hell happened to their lives. It is a good slap of Karma baby. Rest in Peace sweet Jamey and my deepest sympathies to his family.

Dianne P said...

My daughter says that no one at her school would even think of harassing a gay kid but they gave her shit from grade school on for having a learning disability.

After Phoebe Prince's suicide the school started to take bullying seriously (we're in Massachusetts) and they came to our aid, fortunately. But nothing can undo being made fun of since elementary school. I know she will be OK but I think she is one of the lucky ones.

Rebecca said...

This happened in my hometown and it should be mentioned that he was seeing a therapist and a social worker to help him deal with what he was going through. His mother was aware of the problem and was doing what she could to help him.

BigMama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia said...

This absolutely breaks my heart. Jamey lived just one county over and our whole community is so upset by this because there was no intervention on behalf of the school or the parents (so it seems). So sad all around. I just can't believe that in 2011 we still have to deal with such hatred.

parissucksliterally said...

This is so sad, my heart is breaking.

I was bullied, most kids are at some point I think. But it is so extreme now.

Mary, good for you for putting your daughter in Martial arts!

Voice O' Reason said...

So very sad for Jamey and his family! I wish Jamey could have held on and seen that for the most part it does get better.

Here is what I personally hate. You read something like this and everyone postures about how much they hate bullies, and they act like it is something that is totally outside of their "sphere". Now is a great time to do a reality check...everyone should ask themselves if they or someone within their "sphere of influence" is a bully. Do you (the collective you, I am not singling anyone out here) act like an equivalent version of a grown up mean girl or mean boy (they exist)? Do we allow our children to act like that? Do we think it's funny to treat others in a disrespectful way? This doesn't just stop with childhood, there are certainly cases of adult bullying that are alive and well.

We can all say how sad this is, but it doesn't mean anything unless we look at ourselves and our loved ones first and conscientiously treat others with RESPECT.

Sorry, end rant!

allisonshine said...

Instead of telling teens that it gets better...

we should be working together to MAKE it better.

KLM said...

Heart breaking, sad and so horribly unnecessary. I know most of you know about my personal feelings regarding suicide due to my own family history, but it still rips my heart open to read about yet another tragic death.

Tolerance, people. Tolerance. It won't kill you to be tolerant, but a lack of tolerance will almost always lead to more problems than solutions.

iheartjacksparrow said...

I don't think people should be saying to the bullied person, "Hang in there, things will get better." The bullied person should be told to talk to his/her parents, the principal of the school, the head of the school district, the mayor, the police chief, the district attorney, someone in authority who can take some action. Heck, go to a local TV station or newspaper and tell your story. Keep talking until someone can take some action to make the bullying stop. No one should be made to feel threatened on a daily basis.

Sherry said...

Based on what Rebecca says it sounds like this child just could not get better. So sad when no matter how much you attempt to help it still doesn't work. Truly some people just can't hack it. David Foster Wallace is an excellent example. He was always in pain no matter what. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

KLM said...

@Sherry - I don't think that is a good comparison. David Foster Wallace suffered from depression for years. All we know is that this child was seeing a therapist - but he was struggling with his sexuality, which as a teen is a very tough thing to deal with. I don't know if he was depressed or not, but I one thing I am certain of, being bullied could not have helped him feel better about the issues he was working through. Foster Wallace was an adult who found that he was unable to cope with his depression, despite being one of the most exceptional living authors... I just think comparing them is excusing the behaviour of this boys' peers...

Rickatoo said...

Some classmates made some stupid comments to my son on FB, nothing I felt was a real threat, but when things were going on at school (different kids) I mentioned it to the admin, x'd out the names of the FB kids and the principal told me to go to the police.

GoGo said...

As someone who has been so far into the depths of loneliness and despair that I have thought (and still sometimes think) about suicide, I know that it is REALLY hard to believe that things actually WILL get better.
When I've posted on FB or said an off-hand comment about killing myself, I think I just wanted SOMEONE/ANYONE to say, "Please, NO!" Luckily for me, I have had people step up and do just that. I cannot e'en imagine how I would have felt if NO ONE had said or done anything. I probably would have done what Jamey did.
My heart is breaking for this poor child and his family and I just hope this young man has finally found the peace he so desperately needed. There are times I wish I had the cojones
RIP, Jamey, and I pray that your family can find peace and solace in these trying times.

RocketQueen said...

Hugs to you, Gogo!

Jeri said...

OMG I feel like such a failure. That poor kid. Hope those that participated in the bullying are forced to do some sort of penance. And I hope they get why.

And as for the professionals, shame on you. Get another job away from kids. You are endangering them by ignoring abuse.

BigMama said...

I deleted an earlier post because frankly it was too personal and painful. However, I agree with an earlier poster who commented that there are many adult bullies and that we should all check our children. My daughter had me on her facebook/myspace alot. She didn't like it but I didn't object to too much. I also spoke to her a great deal about NOT being a bully herself. Am I sure she didn't do it, no. I do know, however that she made friends with two different girls who were being bullied because she worried about them. Their mothers told me about it later. I am proud of that girl. I wish I knew someone like her in school.

TH-ighs said...

I live in Buffalo and this is the second suicide in that particular school. It's a school of the wealthier suburbs here.

There was a really yesterday and these effen bullies should be sued!!!!

Crafty Intrigue said...

My heart goes out to that boys family. I hope he is at peace. I was bullied. I think it is worse for kids now though. It makes me wonder what would be a way to help teens now.

Sarah MacManus said...

Roseanne Barr was right - this country started going to hell when they stopped letting you smack other people's kids in the grocery store. The sad thing is, I wouldn't even trust the teachers anymore to step up and do the right thing.

This breaks my heart.

Binky Melnik said...

Parents, PLEASE pay attention to what's going on in your kid's life. Notice when they seem to be suffering and throw them a lifesaver.

Kids: It really IS true that those douchcanoes will end up in dead-end jobs and be complete losers. The boys will turn into drunks and the girls will look like used-up whores. You, on the other hand, will have a surprisingly good career. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. I know whereof I speak. It's really satisfying; you just hafta hang in there until the end of high school.

It really does get better; I swear!

feraltart said...

Unfortunately I have had bullying at school (not much), at a workplace and at a gym. I didn't do anything about the workplace, would have if I had my time over again, and my God the lawyers would have been called in. I wrote a letter threatening legal action to the gym and that stopped the bullying. She was a real gutless coward too, said stuff about me in my hearing but not to my face. The payback there is one of her evil friends who joined in is now packing on the weight, and this week I saw her at the gym and she was cowed. I am fat, which was part of the bullying, but I thought it was beautifully ironic that one of them is going the same way (not that I ever wished ill on any of them, I just wanted them to stop). I changed gyms and went to my new one for the first time today. Fantastic. I wish I could say to people that bullying stops, but the truth is it doesn't, unless we speak up and refuse to participate. I do, however, believe in Karma, and I am really seeing that play out, it has just taken a while to get there.

mzmarymac said...

My son just started junior high and every day this kid Dewey comes up to him, says "Hey F***t and then kicks him." My son is an athlete and a wrestler and quite capable of defending himself. I told him he needed to tell the principal and he finally did and things have started happening. He really doesn't see this kid as a threat at much as a complete nuisance, but enough is enough. I also told him that now that the authories are on notice, the next time the kid says something or gets phsyical with him to take him down, hold him in a headlock, half nelson, stack, what have you and tell someone to call a teacher and do not release until a teacher gets there. No punching, just defend yourself. I told him I would hire the best attorneys to defend him if this is what he does.

I feel so bad for this little boy. It is a shame. I was relentlessly bullied all through grade school. I still have nightmares about it. But I was "normal." I was white, straight, cute, not overweight, etc...but it doesn't matter. If you show them that they bother you they will find ANYTHING to tease you and bully you about.

I do read my son's FB and if he doesn't friend me and allow me access, he has no access to the computer-period. Luckly, I've stalked all of his and his friends FB's and it is typically pretty stupid stuff with a lot of misspelling!

surfer said...

@GoGo - ((((hugs)))). Despite what you may think, I hope you realize that there are people (at least I hope there are) who love you. Wishing you lots of peace and strength. And, if you are feeling really low, just give a shout out to us here on CDAN, and hopefully we'll be able to help.

Naomi said...

"called gay and had other insults hurled his way"

That reporting has really bothered me. Why is being called gay an insult? I think we have to re-adjust our thinking and not even write that it's an insult. That if you are called that and happen to be gay, it's okay you have nothing to be ashamed of.
If you are not, it just means the bullies are homophobic and will probably join the tea party when they are older, then fool around with young boys when they are married.

Robyn....but call me Rob said...

Enty,
That is the best post you've ever written. Well said.

Jasmine said...

"I hope someone finds the people that wrote that stuff and post Jamey's photo on their lockers everyday until they graduate and then follow them to their job scrubbing floors at McDonald's and post it on the outside of the window everyday."

WELL SAID Enty.

When something so unreasonably tragic happens I feel that all I can do is utter the simplest and most sincere thing I can put into words:

I'm sorry you felt this way sweetheart, I hope you've found peace now.

Jasmine said...

ITA Naomi~

kathrynnova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xtabuxangelx said...

My son is 11. For years he was bullied by the same boy, for years I fought with the school. My son is in special education classes and has pervasive developmental disorder. Last year a boy called my son a f*****. My son knows this word is wrong and was so upset that if there was someone gay, they would be upset. I immediately drove to the school, had a few words with the principal then drove straight to the offenders house. (who lives two doors down from me) I banged on the door, but luckily for me or them no one answered. I am so sick of this shit. The schools do nothing. I warned them next time it happens and it will, the police will be with me and I want a few parties arrested. The bully and the parents. As the parent who is aware, fighting the system is mind boggling, frustrating and it makes me look like a raving lunatic. But I don't care. The schools need a serious overhaul on their bullying policies.

jen said...

JW said...

How does Enty abhor this behaviour but finds nothing wrong in calling Justin Bieber "her"?




You know what, that is an EXCELLENT point.

Rest in peace, Jamey. I wish you could have stayed.

gracenfaith said...

NO! I hate these stories, poor Jamey! RIP! IF only our younger ones knew it does get better. Those bullies end up being meaningless in your life but being in that bullying stage and not feeling like you can escape it could feel like climbing a mountian you can't see the top of, but you must stay strong. Avoid them, do whatever you have to do to make it to survive to live your life. Those people who encouraged him do have a special place in hell just for them (and other mean soul less people).

Anonymous said...

As a teacher who works everyday w middle schoolers, this breaks my heart. I promise, some of us are doing EVERYTHING we can to address, adjust behavior and amend the issue. I know it sounds like bs, but this sh*t keeps me up most nights. I have the privilege of teaching these kids and I take to heart. This story has kept me near tears all day and all I can do is promise that as an educator, I will do more.

Bit dams said...

have a daughter in middle school. she has been bullied and abused (physically and emotionally) by her father (my ex) for 2 years. she is in counseling and is doing well. anyway, the things kids say at school are tiny compared to being thrown across the room by your father, or seeing him try to kill your mother. and she feels strong enough to stand up for other kids when they are bullied. just today she told me that there is a boy in one of her classes that is constantly calling another kid "fag...gay ass...freak". she was getting in trouble in class for talking, when what she was saying was "cut it out". so she went to the teacher after class and told her what was happening. the teacher moved my daughters seat, but did nothing about the real problem.

tonight was back to school night. there were posters every where saying "no bully zone" and "tell someone". just like when i was in school, the no bullying line is a joke.

Lelaina Pierce said...

I read that he made an "It Gets Better" video. I'm so sorry that he felt this was the only way out.
I honestly don't know how anyone survives high school. Kids can be such a-holes.

I don't know why the counselors didn't choose to address this, either. The parents of the bullys probably fall into the category of not having a clue it was going on or not wanting to believe their child would behave that way.

Lelaina Pierce said...

*bullies (sorry).

Lissette said...

I was bullied, and I still remember that to this day. Never got over it. God help him RIP

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