Jamey Rodemeyer was 14 when he killed himself last week. He was gay and he was bullied. He was bullied in school and he was bullied online, where his tormentors posted encouraging messages like “JAMIE [sic] IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!” on Jamey’s various internet presences.
Since Jamey’s death, many public figures and activists have come forward to beg the American people to stop being assholes to gay people. 500 people came to Jamey’s funeral. Lady Gaga, Jamey’s favorite human/musician/artist, dedicated a concert to him this weekend and bought a ticket to an Obama fundraiser in order to get some face time with the president about anti-bullying initiatives. Ricky Martin, the pop star who remained closeted for most of his professional life, tweeted: “This needs to stop now. How many lives lost before someone listens. #MakeALawForJamey.”
But despite being dead and having two of the universe’s most popular pop stars in his corner, Jamey Rodemeyer remains an ample target for his bullies. On The Today Show yesterday, Jamey’s parents shared a really upsetting story. Their daughter attended the homecoming dance where a Lady Gaga song was played and she and her friends started chanting for Jamey — only to be interrupted by Jamey’s bullies, screaming unfathomably inappropriate things like “You’re better off dead!” and “We’re glad you’re dead!” Obviously Jamey’s sister went home upset.
Here’s The Today Show interview with Jamey’s parents, where they also discuss how they want things to change in a way that Jamey’s death won’t be in vain:
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Last night Jamey’s sister appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to tell her story:
What non-sociopathic human being could even comprehend delighting in the self-inflicted death of a teenage boy? I bet nobody reading this article could imagine doing that. Human beings don’t do that. Maybe criminals do that, or The Westboro Baptist Church, but just a normal human being with a heart and soul? Not so much. Even a homophobic asshole generally would refrain from bullying a dead person out of decency.
Also, bullies. Bullies will do that. Bullies don’t live by the laws of adulthood or the laws of humanity. The strength or scope of any given mandate or initiative is irrelevant to these kids — the fact that it’s a mandate or initiative at all and that it comes from grown-ups is enough to make them all tune out.
There are heaps of studies on what makes someone a bully. Aggression at home is a trigger, obviously, as is just general confusion about home life, inconsistent parenting, low self-esteem, or a desire to gain status. Some kids would be better serviced by Child Protective Services than the High School Guidance Counselor because they come from homes so abusive and hateful that it’s no surprise those children come to school angry. Maybe in this case, kids came from homes where homophobia/discrimination is encouraged. Who knows, perhaps they live in a country where a gay soldier is booed during a Republican Presidential Debate!
Constance McMillen‘s bullies didn’t change their ways, even when the entire country and Famous Celebrities were calling them out for being assholes. In fact, they kept on strong and set up their own prom and invited everyone but Constance and a few other outcasts.
What do we do when increased awareness and Bullying Prevention Programs and It Gets Better fail to change the final result of a child’s life? Outside of what parents/families of bullies and the bullied should do for their children, what can be done on a macro level?
Here’s what I think we need to do or maybe could do, based on my incredible expertise:
+ Make a Law for Jamey: Lady Gaga and Ricky Martin aren’t politicians, but they have points — is it time for a “law” against bullying? How would such a thing be enforced? What would it say, exactly? In every group of bullies, there’s gotta be at least one kid who wants to play varsity sports or get into a good college. Maybe the repercussions of having “suspended for bullying” on their permanent records or being kicked off the team might get at least part of the school too scared to bully online or off.
+ Online Accountability: Formspring Anyone using formspring to attack someone with hate speech should be liable for those words. Formspring should set something up where IP addresses of bullies can be revealed to the formspring account owner under extreme circumstances like this one.
+ Stop Legalizing Discrimination: We still live in a country were discrimination against gay people is not only accepted, it’s mandated.
+ Gay History in Schools: California’s FAIR Act is on the right track. What can we say for kids who only hear about gay people when they’re hearing gays condemned to hell or discriminated against by the government? A more productive and open-minded conversation needs to take place in a mandated environment.
+ Making it Better Now: It Gets Better is meaningless to kids who can’t see a viable future due to the darkness of the present. What about a Big Brothers/Big Sisters program matching up gay kids with gay adults? Gay kids usually don’t have mentors and rarely have parents or even friends who understand what it’s like to be gay. Maybe college LGBT groups should visit schools to give a living, breathing example and answer questions.
What do you think?
A Big Brother/Big Sister style thing for gay kids sounds like a great idea–I would LOVE to do something like that.
Actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that the LGBT club at the first college I attended had a mentoring program in the local high school…
yes but can you imagine the backlash? “Gay Adults Teach Schoolchildren How To Be Gay”
As much as I would have LOVED to have someone like that around when I was in high school, I have a feeling Fox News and some very angry parents would end this before it even got off the ground.
Actually, that’s why our university’s GSA hasn’t done this. We looked into it but there’s so much red tape when it comes to doing anything involving public schools that it didn’t seem viable. And this is in Orlando, which is…well, the least conservative part of Florida, I guess.
yeah, as I was writing this I was like “WE should do something, WE should have a high school kid going through a rough time blogging for autostraddle about their experiences, creating a safe space for conversation with elders and little ones” and then I realized, no, we can’t do that. Because we talk about sex on this website, and so we’d get in massive trouble. Which is why we don’t take writing from anyone under 18 already. La la la sigh.
Not to mention the reaction of social conservatives to the idea that adult LGBTIQ people might have ‘access’ to kids. They *might* trust lesbians with teen boys, but lesbians with teen girls? Or gay men or bi/pan/trans/genderqueer people with, well, any teen? Nope. Don’cha know we’re all prone to paedophilia? *sigh*
yes but that’s idiotic and makes no sense. those people shouldn’t be allowed to foist their ideas on people who actually need help.
This is all true, but it doesn’t necessarily block “access” to these kids. What about interviewing a select group (with parental consent) and including them in some of your posts?
Or what about an online mentorship program? Teens looking for help could be paired with an adult mentor to exchange emails or skype.
Yeah, I guess that if a program like that did exist, it would have to be limited to kids with supportive parents–which of course leaves the most at-risk kids out.
The part about “angry parents” made me think twice–if angry parents are speaking out on the bullies’ side, we need to speak out on the bullied queer teens’ side. We have to support each other, including the next generation. Get GSAs started, sign petitions, write letters to the local paper, volunteer at youth centers and PFLAG chapters, donate to GLSEN, whatever you can do.
If you live in the district where you went to middle and high school, go to a school board meeting and say “hey, I’m a graduate of this school, I’m gay and I was scared to come out in high school” (or whatever your experience was). Look up the district’s code of conduct and bullying policies and if they don’t mention sexuality and gender identity, try to get them changed. Let’s do something more than make videos about things getting better, because that alone wasn’t enough for Jamie.
Places like this exist. Where I live now (in a suburb of Detroit with a high population of gays), we have a gay community center that offers youth programs, nearly free counseling, and 24/7 suicide hotlines. Adults can volunteer to work for the center or take classes to answer phones for the hotlines.
Since I had such a horrible time coming out, the idea of a Big Brother/Big Sister thing does sound very appealing to me, the only problem is that there’s a lot more factors for homosexual teens than there are for the straight BB/BS. For one, I’m not sure kids can sign themselves up without parental consent. Sometimes the problem IS the parents, so I really can’t see those parents sending their kids to a gay mentor. Plus the fact that many kids struggle with just the first step of coming out. Simply put, we can do everything we can for these kids, but the most important thing we can do is change society. Without affecting mass opinion, this is going to keep happening.
Brisbane, Australia has something similar too: http://www.opendoors.net.au/
I went to Opendoors when they moved locations a few months ago and had an open day. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve done since I’ve started to come to terms with my bisexuality.
I loved it so much, and found it so…welcoming. Any teens in the Brisbane area struggling, I seriously suggest going. If anything, it shows you a space where everyone can be themselves without fear. And that’s a powerful thing.
I can see this working like if a high school has a GSA that the GSA or what ever homoclub a college has… the college works with the high school. If your local high school’s don’t have GSAs then the mission should be in helping to start one!
Community ya’ll. We needs it.
my university has an LGBTA gaymo-babygay mentoring program.
Are people talking about laws that would criminalize bullying? Because I’m nervous about that, mostly because I don’t trust the criminal justice system at all, especially when it comes to dealing with kids.
that’s a really good point. this could quickly become yet another area where poor people of color are targeted while rich white kids get off scot-free. like weed laws!
As a teen-of-color, who goes to a suburban public school, THIS. And it’s not like that would work anyway…
Preventative measures >
A law against bullying would be great if there were any way it would actually be effective. I was bullied throughout grade school and middle school, and once at a camp, and there’s a lot of reasons a law just wouldn’t work. Having mandatory suspensions and it being on a permanent record wouldn’t be very great at deterring bullies. Why? Because people don’t actually think to themselves ‘Hey, how have i done my part to make people feel like shit today?,’ they just do it.
Also, what exactly would count as bullying? Leaving nasty Formspring questions should obviously count, but what about just using gossip and isolation to make someone else feel isolated and alone and like everyone just hates them? if that does count as bullying, how do we separate the actual bullies from those who just went along with it because they didnt want to stand out from the crowd? and where is the line drawn between bullying and just gossiping?
Another reason why it wouldnt work is exactly what Southwest has shown us lately: what happens on a corporate level doesn’t necesarily affect what happens on a smaller scale. in 5th-6th grade, i was in a really horrible situation at school, and the teachers knew. but they brushed it off as a “kids will be kids” situation, and did absolutely nothing. they didnt even feel like telling my parents for a really long time.
I always take issue with the idea that “kids will be kids” as an excuse for cruelty and it’s not because kids aren’t mean, they are until you teach them otherwise. But that’s the thing right, you have to teach them empathy and sympathy and teach them that saying and doing mean things hurts. If they aren’t taught sympathy you end up with quasi-sociopaths who boo gay servicemen and mock the dead.
If you go along with it because you don’t want to stand out, then you’re a bully, too. Gossiping can also be a form of bullying and should be nipped in the bud. It should be the adults’ responsibility (teachers and principals, administrators, and parents who give a fuck) to monitor and call this shit out.
I would be very willing to give my time to a big brother/big sister program for gay kids. This entire story breaks my heart. How do parents let their children do this to each other?
Here in Quebec, we have a group of volunteers that goes from school to school “demystifying” homosexuals AND bisexuals. It’s a big step towards exposure and educating kids and even teachers about the LGBT community.
It’s worth checking out in case anyone’s interested in starting up something similar: http://www.gris.ca/2009/gris_english.php
I will come back to this question of “what should be done” later when I can actually think. Right now I just hate everybody. The only thing that makes me feel better is that one day these kids will turn into human beings, and they will hate themselves for the things the said and did to Jamey and the things they said after his death. I hope they are never happy.
Don’t kid yourself. These are probably kids from Christian homes….the moment they enter self loathing their Churches will absolve them of their guilt….and just expect them not to bully anyone new. Jayme is still dead….but should they have to live with the guilt?
Repentance is a good thing but it requires more than just not doing it….it requires trying to make sure no one does it.
Ex-bullies for equality should be a group.
I will join because I have said some bad things…laughed at some mean jokes…all to fit in and hide. No one died from what I said…but I have repented, come out, and thoroughly changed my ways.
and now there is a group….
That expert who asks why the three bullies weren’t immediately reprimanded/removed from the dance and summarily punished is spot-on.
There is NO excuse for the inaction of the staff and/or adult supervision at that dance, and I think any parent who accepts that as a tenable environment – at the dance, during instruction or even simply on school grounds – for their children needs to wake the fuck up.
I’m actually kind of surprised that there wasn’t a fight over what happened at the dance. I would probably have hit some one. I’m not advocating violence but my god I don’t think I would have been able to stop myself.
I kind of feel like these kids are such assholes/just plain stupid that they only thing the would understand is a swift kick to the balls.
Almost but not quite related: Is anyone else concerned about how it seems like “gay youth” and “suicide” have become so associated in the media? I feel like I haven’t read/heard/seen anything about gay youth that didn’t discuss suicide in forever. On one hand, I think bullying and and suicide are really important to talk about, and on the other, I wonder if that has a negative effect on all the actual gay youth out there. Especially since studies have shown that people are more likely to kill themselves if they know someone who has…I wonder if someone is more likely to kill themselves when they see in the media that many other people “like them” are killing themselves.
Most suicides aren’t reported for this reason exactly. The gay youth suicides are being reported because there was a trend before the media jumped on the bandwagon and someone decided that legislative reform and increased awareness could help. I remember this being quite controversial at the time.
A while back I did some research on youth suicide and suicide contagions/clusters and it’s what I think of every time I read one of these stories.
Directly from my notes…
Suicide clusters are defined as “a group of suicides or suicide attempts, or both, that occurs closer together in time and space than would normally be expected in a given community”. A recent suicide cluster that was well publicised by the media occurred in Bridgend.
Suicide clusters are not a new phenomenon. It is referred to as ‘the Werther effect’ after an 18th century novel by Johann Goethe called The Sorrows of Young Werther, which was banned shortly after its publication when a number of young men shot themselves in the manner of its lead character. In a study of US suicides between 1947-1968 it was found that in the two months after a suicide which made the front pages, an average of 58 more people killed themselves as well as a rise in car crashes (often a method of ‘disguised’ suicide). Application of the same process hints at ‘copycat’ suicides but has more to do with how the news in reported.
Suicide clusters are more common in teenagers than any other age demographic and account for between 1 to 5 per cent of teen suicides. This could be because vulnerable teenagers are can become influenced by other suicides and are also very aware of the media that attempts to normalise what was once a great taboo subject.
The average single suicide intimately affects at least six other people and it occurs in a school, small village, etc., it can impact hundreds more people. The constant stream of information through the internet and other forms of media means that suicide clusters are not limited to geographical proximity – the news of a celebrity’s death can spread all over the world in minutes and initiate self-destructive behaviours and suicidal activities amongst fans.
The suicide victims may or may not know each other – they do not commit suicide out of some spoken agreement (as with suicide pacts or cults) but rather each suicide has an effect on another person which may drive them to suicide them by normalising the process of suicide in their mind. Likewise the media coverage makes the act of suicide seem like a more viable ‘way out’ for vulnerable people who are already considering it – news stories are found to have an even greater impact when the lethal method is mentioned and often this aspect of the suicide is ‘copied’ as well. The normalisation of suicide makes it seem less finite – as though the victim will come back or live on through memorial sites. Likewise fictional suicide accounts on television and in film tend to show it as relatively pain-free compared to the reality of suicide.
With Brigend there was a lot in the news that it may have been a suicide pact and I think that later they dismissed the idea and figured it was probably a cluster however many of the victims knew at least one of the others or else knew of them (for example, as friends of friends) and through this may have identified with them – DR Arthur Cassidy, a youth suicide expert, suggested that “the victims ‘make contact with people who are thinking on the same lines as them – whether it’s in terms of negative identity or low self-worth’. And one death gives ‘permission’ for another.”
Sorry that was so long. I also have a few stats on bullying and cyberbullying unfortunately the document is a couple of years out of date and I, foolishly, didn’t note all of my sources.
In theory I am in favor of anti-bullying laws, but in practice I feel like they can get out of control and criminalize the behavior of many children. I used to work with kids that had serious behavioral issues, and the problems these kids experienced were because of attitudes and actions of their teachers and parents.
It’s also hard to put such laws in place without the religious right turning them around to protect the wrong people…
In Kentucky in 2007 there was an anti-bullying rule up for a vote in the state legislature that explicitly stated that anti-gay bullying based on religious convictions was NOT bullying, but that religious discrimination was bullying. Religious discrimination included gay students calling religious students “intolerant” or protesting being told that they were going to hell for being gay.
This law did not pass. However, the fact that this was written explicitly in the language of the bill says a lot about how far religious conservatives will go to twist things around.
I worry that the same thing could potentially happen on a federal level.
Why did I have to be born in this state?
It’s when reading stories like these that I realise just how ingrained the ECHR/ anti-discrimination culture is in my brain. I really can’t get my head round how this is “ok”.. Like, do you not have harassment laws? Or anything about inciting hatred?
Yeah, in terms of schoolchildren, it might not work to target the kids because they don’t necessarily realise the enormity of what they’re doing/saying, but you can damn well hold the schools/other state/federal/generally-governmenty bodies accountable! No?
*hugs ECHR & HRA 1998 very tight*
I guess a good start would be to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child… seeing as the states drafted most of it..
PS. Our school has a “three strikes and you’re out” policy on fights. I see no reason not to implement an identical bullying policy. There are too many hardworking kids who somehow manage to navigate the difference between right and wrong and find it within themselves to do their best academically and as human beings, regardless of who raised them.
THIS. FFAF, that is an awesome idea! i love the 3 strikes & ur out idea. that would def start to get the point across. as for the hardworking kids, you are so right. i truly believe that your circumstances do not determine the type of person you are going to be. you determine the type of person your going to be. i was raised by an abusive mother who was the worst kind of person in every way, and yet i am nothing like her, i am proud to say. i treat every person with kindness, no matter what, and accept everyone regardless of their sexuality, race, or gender. one last thing, do these kids actually stop and think that they are doing?! this poor girl is grieving her brother and it seems like they are trying to push her over the edge. why does no one put a stop to these things?!
Communication communication communication. :( I mean that’s what the solution is really.
The parents of the bullies need to make them stop. The parents of the bullied need to make them talk. Schools need to make sure that bullies stop and that the bullied talk.
I like the idea of having a Big Brothers/Big Sisters program at schools. Like I said above, it would be good if Gay Straight Alliances or what ever gay association your college has worked with what ever GSA or gay clubs your local high schools have or work on getting them started.
And as much as I hate to say this, being out is going to help a lot. Everyone being out would help. People who have gay family members, gay friends, gay co-workers, they’re less likely to be intolerant, especially if said gay family member, gay friend, gay co-worker was vocal against intolerance when it’s encountered.
People in the closet? Not helping the cause. Sorry folks. It would be awesome if we lived in a world where being gay wasn’t a big deal and that people didn’t need to out loud and out proud but the fact is that hanging out in the closet really perpetuates the idea that it’s wrong and that gay is something to be ashamed of.
Also also New Jersey’s new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights? Yes! That needs to be a thing everywhere.
I agree with your comment and in particular the middle section. That was one of the reasons I was so all over my ex to come out. She is a very “normal” person in a well respected field of work. A good contributing member to society and all of that. She was afraid of what people would think of her. I would get so angry because it’s just like “don’t you see that people need to see all kinds of people like you as being gay?” If you act like its something wrong then people will treat it like it’s wrong. We shouldn’t have to apologize for who we are. Putting names and faces on this issue really humanizes it. Maybe the next time some kid gets ready to make fun of one of his peers for being gay, he’ll remember his cool gay uncle or neighbor or whatever and think twice.
I like the idea of more stringent anti-bullying programs and rules at schools, and laws in general. However, the problem is that such things require the bullied students to report the harassment. Obviously, Jamey and some other students are brave enough to come forward and report such things the the school administration and their parents (and in those cases it’s inexcusable that nothing gets done about it)… But I think that even more students are too afraid to come forward for fear of increased bullying. I know that I never once reported an incident all through high school, even though I was bullied daily for a couple of years. I was just too afraid to say anything, and completely unconvinced that the teachers and administrators could or would do anything about it.
I think what is really needed is an anonymous way to report bullies so that the victims would feel somewhat safer. in addition, teachers REALLY need to step it up and start confronting things when they see/hear it, and not shrugging it off as joking or “kids being kids”. I’m in school to become a high school teacher, and I am absolutely going to be proactive about preventing/stopping bullying.
Also, that is absolutely revolting about the students at Jamey’s sister’s prom. I can’t even imagine…
I only came forward with my being bullied because a friend stepped up for me and said that we needed to do something about it. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have said anything, either.
My 12 year old tells me that there’s no point complaining, because it makes it worse if the bullies are told off for specific incidents, especially since they know who has complained.
Her suggestion was to get the school to adopt a points system, whereby each time a complaint was made against a kid it was recorded but not addressed with the kid at the time. As offenses built up, she suggested, to a specific amount, they would be able to tell if some kids had a general pattern of bullying, and could then address the overall issue of bullying with the bully without mentioning who had laid complaints. They might also be able to tell, she said, if anyone was complaining maliciously, since there would probably be only one or two complaints against that person, and those probably from the same person.
I’m not sure whether this would work the way she suggested, but maybe it is worth looking at some different way of addressing bullying issues in schools that don’t involve letting the bully know who their accuser is immediately. Though this raises issues of fairness, too, in that people should have a right to know who has accused them? *sigh*
That’s a really interesting idea about the points system. I like the idea of the anonymity a lot… I guess my only concern would be that I feel like bullies shouldn’t be given the opportunity to bully a second, third, or fourth time. I think a lot of pain could be prevented by nipping things in the bud and having immediate consequences for first offenses. But on the other hand, if it causes escalated bullying, then that completely defeats the purpose…
This is such a difficult topic.
That’s a great ideal!
And the license point system here has worked fairly well in reducing drunk drivers.
Make it Better Now- I like that!
Have you guys heard of Kai Davis? She’s a high school junior who writes and performs the best fucking spoken word ever. This poem’s about being queer, among other things…. she sort of talks about being bullied but I don’t wanna ruin it for you, it’s very powerful.
You should also check out her poem “I look like” about being Black in A.P. classes.
It gave my entire body goosebumps and may or may not have made me cry a little bit.
It is pretty great. It gave me goosebumps, as well!
That was great, thanks for sharing the link.
No problem, I’m so glad someone actually watched it!
I went to an LGBTQ youth group when I was a teen that wasn’t associated with a school. And this was in 1993. While there were adult facilitators, they didn’t go out and “recruit” kids. Kids in the group would reach out to other queer kids.
The way I found out about it was a gay boy gave me a card for the group with their address on it and times of the meetings. Then I asked another kid that I knew was gay to go with me.
If the school is the problem, then you just go around the school. Kids are actually pretty good at supporting each other if you teach them how.
god, that video made me cry hysterically. fuck
The sad thing about bullying and bullies, I find, is that their hatred is like a brick wall that rejects any form of penetration. In my high school I would often stand up for younger kids who were being harassed with homophobic slurs (or racial, etc) and the most common reaction the kids had was to laugh in my face. Either they don’t understand the severity of their actions or they really just don’t care.
I prefer to hope that it isn’t the second one. Bullying is worst when kids have a group to feed off of and encouragement for their actions- I’ve never seen a bully act alone. If we can reach these kids as individuals rather than trying to fight “the bullying problem” I think we could really make some progress.
But maybe that’s just me being an insufferable optimist- I look for the good in everyone because I honestly cannot come to terms with the idea that people might be this intrinsically… evil.
RIP Jamey. I’m sorry that you had to die for this conversation to start again.
This was the topic of our discussion at my LGBTQ* group on Tuesday. It was definitely a very emotional and heavy discussion… We were talking about ways we can help out in our community to reach out to queer youth.
Our ideas were: Reach out to local high schools to talk about sexuality and support the creation/expansion of GSAs; writing in our protest against a bill that would allow parents to pull students out of classes dealing with sexuality; promote and look into a 24/7 suicide hotline much like The Trevor Project; bring in NOH8 photographers and do a local campaign; talk to local TV stations about our efforts; and even more were brought up.
Thanks for the ideas, everyone. The Big Brothers/Big Sisters idea is especially a great one.
This is tangential to the discussion, but I’d like to point out that there are adult bullies, too. And I’m guessing they don’t come from nowhere.
Yes, exactly. And some school bullies have learned bullying behaviour from their parents. My 12 y.o. was telling me about an incident where a father derided his son openly in the school corridor for liking to wear scarves, saying they were girly. The dad then compared him unfavourably to his younger brother, one of the most obnoxious kids in the school but definitely very masculine.
My daughter was appalled both that the dad had such a big problem with the way his son dressed, and also that it was expressed so aggressively. She also said that the bullied boy was a really nice kid, and that his younger brother was a horror.
That poor boy, honestly.
I meant to click ‘reply’ not like, sorry about that.
I wanted to add the story of Megan Meier who killed herself after cyberbullying. She developed a friendship with a boy online who was initally kind to her but then the messages got very cruel. After Megan died it transpired that the online profile was created by a 49-year old neighbour and her daughter who wanted to see what Meier was saying about her daughter after they had a falling out. Apparently the last few messages were written by the an employee of the neighbour in an apparent attempt to end what they referred to as a ‘hoax’ and get Megan Meier to stop communicating with the boy.
The case influenced some states to change their laws to ensure they cover harassment from computers, text messages and other electronic devices. Megan’s mother also set up an organisation to promote “awareness, education and promote positive change to children, parents and educators in response to the ongoing bullying and cyberbullying in our children’s daily environment
Yes. There are adult bullies and those who let them get away with it. They are everywhere. They come from organizations that are treated as legitimate. They come from mainstream political parties and organized religions that enjoy considerable benefits, both financial and cultural, while openly embracing a heterosexist ideology.
The fact that the Republican Party is able to hold tv debates and field candidates for public office tells me that the difference between high school and “the real world” is the age of the people involved. Same goes for organizations like the Catholic Church, which are able to run public schools in Ontario (for example) and enjoy tax benefits while spreading hate. These groups are run by bullies, and the people who claim membership in these groups (regardless of their own personal niceness) are only empowering them.
I don’t know if tackling schoolyard bullies is what’s gonna stop schoolyard bullying.
I live in New Jersey. My school had a 90min assembly about the new anti-bullying law here (“HIB”(never once has this been said and not misheard as HIV, btw)). All of the bullies laughed at and made fun of it, both during the assembly and for the 2-3 weeks since.
America’s bulling problem is a cultural thing and laws just getting people in trouble aren’t working. Not that I see anything that will work, but still.
this is sick. I couldn’t tell this story to my co-worker without tearing up. ugh… I don’t even know what to say I’m so mad and upset about this… frickin sick.
Wow, that is so horrifying. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend the hatefulness of others. Glad to read your story on this. I have one issue with the story, though. You mention that bully’s frequently have low self esteem but that isn’t actually born out by the most recent research. According to the last time I did research in to this issue (about a year ago) most bullies feel good about themselves and are popular but not “the” most popular kids in school.
It’s also worth pointing out that many of these people don’t leave bullying behind when they exit high school. Work place bullying is now being talked about as a serious issue…clearly there is more at work here than home life, etc.
Also, your take on extending the It Get’s Better project sounds like an awesome idea. I am going to keep that in mind as it might be something I can advocate for in the future where I work.
You have to be seriously sick to continue taunting someone that’s already dead. As someone that’s lost a sibling (through illness not suicide) I have some amount of sympathy for Jamey’s sister. I cannot even imagine trying to grieve while people are celebrating your sibling’s death. Disgusting.
yes, that’s a terrible thing. the bad thing is also that Ricky Martin NEVER took any actions when I was bullied by his fans. I have faced ignorance and disbelief by him and his staff. And today I know why. I have found out that Ricky Martin was having interpersonal relationships with the bullies in form of flirty fishing, sexting, gratification and ingratiation. I was treated like psycho and stalker. My MySpaqce account was hacked many times as well as my MSN and my email account. I was not the only victim. One of the girls was bullied in RIcky Martin’s video channel approximattely 1 year long and Ricky Martin NEVER took any actions to stop this. Not even after my email request sent to him and his fan club staff. The girl was attacked by his assistant and he was protecting bullies. The reason why she was bullied is that Ricky Martin’s groupies couldn’t stand the fact the the girl was getting more attention by Ricky Martin than they. He was sending her love messages too.
Bullying is a serious and harmful issue that affects not only children but also adults. Worldwide there are numerous suicides comited by people who have been bullied at work or other social forms. It is a pure psychopaty and psychological manipulation. Those kids who are bullying their schoolmates are nothing else but the mirror picture of their parents and the narcissistic society they belong to.
What concerns me is that a lot of this bullying is harassment, and people aren’t taking the call for legislation seriously because it’s under the bully label. :\