Quick Hit: We’ve Lost Another One

Another eleven-year-old has committed suicide, apparently in response to homophobic bullying.

suicide.0421

Get this into your heads; these are CHILDREN.  They are barely pubescent.  I don’t know where, exactly, all of this hate coming from, but I know what to do to counter it…

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14 Comments

Filed under compassion and connection, concerns, doing my duty, frustrations, GLBTQ/Ally issues, memorials, Parenting, politics, quick hit, ruminating, social issues, teaching, Worries and Anxieties

14 responses to “Quick Hit: We’ve Lost Another One

  1. … and of course the teachers do nothing. After all, they are there to protect the bullies from getting into trouble for their actions, not there to protect the victims. I wouldn’t be too surprised if some of the teachers also mocked this boy behind his back. It isn’t as though people grow out of being bullies, do they?

  2. This is heartbreaking. I imagine there are a whole lot of schools where these kids would get no support. I know in my small town, there were teachers who were bullies, and I don’t imagine that has changed much. Between them and the “morality patrol” types, it can’t be easy for kids looking for help.

  3. mike

    So hard to believe that in this day and age, this sort of thing still happens. So very sad.

  4. Darci

    Wow, ImprobableJoe, kind of harsh. While I appreciate your opinion, as a teacher, I am mandated by law to support the victim in all cases of bullying and harassment. Often times the victim does not report the bullying because s/he is afraid of retaliation from other students or the bully. I just completed a day long series of assemblies for anti-bullying. We spoke to every student in the school and will begin small group discussions with students at-risk on both sides of the fence tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. I promise we hear it and see it and respond to it.

  5. Deb

    I’m deeply saddened…there is NO reason these tragedies to happen. I’m also incredibly saddened by some of the comments…the prevalance of belief that teachers don’t do anything about bullying…AND that they are bullies themselves. I taught in public schools for over 20 years and in several parts of the country and there are many, many fine educators working hard to address tolerance and diversity issues. One of the challenges of addressing bullying problems is that the bullying often/usually occurs when adults are not around. As a classroom teacher, I ALWAYS addressed any intolerance issues head on and students in my school knew what was and was not acceptable not only in my classroom but also in my presences anywhere. Admittedly, there are some educators who don’t deal with these issues and it’s a real shame that this is true. And yes…there is a small population of educators who are perpetrators of bullying and ridicule which is criminal. But the vast majority do care…but don’t know what to do.

    What to do? Be more proactive about facing the issues. Raise awareness about what is going on in schools and communities everywhere. If this is a silent and invisible problem, just know that it does exist everywhere so providing opportunities for people…young, old, and in-between…to learn about others lifestyles and feelings can help create respect and understanding. Why do we always find ourselves reacting instead?

  6. Sorry folks, I didn’t mean to imply that ALL teachers are bullies, or ignore bullying. The problem is that especially for the younger kids, they don’t get to deal with many different teachers, and if they can’t trust one they’ll never trust any of them.

  7. What kind of messed up setting do the bullies come from, where they think it’s acceptable to treat other people this badly?

  8. magicalmysticalteacher

    I’m stunned. Stunned. Bullying that leads to death has got to stop!

  9. Organic Mama

    This is a horrifying legacy of intolerance trickled down the children taught that tormenting anyone different is ok. Shame on the adults who did little or nothing, shame on the parents of the bullies and PLEASE let us learn enough from this to halt its horrendous momentum.

  10. When I saw the title of your post, I thought “oh, no!” Sure enough, it was as I feared.

    Tragic. I think this little boy had more to handle than homophobic bullying. Some of the news reports quoted his mother saying that he had to deal with taunts about his accent as well. Hatred comes in many forms. But it is always painful to face.

    It feels like a never-ending battle. Tolerance, compassion and understanding seem to be in such short supply. 😦

  11. Deb

    It’s not just indivuals who teach other individuals that harassment and bullying are okay…even encouraged…but it’s our society that says it’s okay. This is done in many ways: film and television promote it through showing scenes in which there is teasing going on and it’s considered okay by other characters and/or viewers because it’s “just teasing” and kids respond very quickly, “JK” (just kidding) or “so what, it’s funny”; “comedy” where it is acceptable to mock and deride others….it’s not really satire; media promotion of stereotyping with weak apologies after the fact in some cases; government agencies allowing torture to take place and promoting it as acceptable when you’re trying to get something from someone; racial profiling being used in reaction to something that hasn’t happened yet but could.

    People need to be taught that words and actions do make a difference…not just in a negative way. Why is it so difficult to stand up for what you believe in or to assist someone else when it seems much easier to strike out at someone with insults and physical abuse? Whatever the reasons…fear, apathy, etc….we must make concerted efforts to be role models for others. We never know when someone is watching or listening to us… In no way am I defending any kids who bully or harass others, but they’re growing up in environments which not only allow them to do so, but also teach them to do so.

  12. Excellent points, Deb. I would add that religious groups do much to support this kind of negativity. We saw a lot of hatred in the campaign supporting Prop. 8 in California.

  13. Just Elizabeth

    ImprobableJoe, if teachers are mocking a student behind their back, then the teacher needs to re-think their choice in occupation. Teachers should ALWAYS be there because they love children. Not some children, but ALL children.

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