There is yet again a new story of a child suicide due to bullying – see below.
I mentioned the case of Tyler Clementi last week. He was a college student who happened to be gay. His roommate decided to secretly film Clementi while in a private moment in his own room. The roommate then made the video public on the internet. Shortly after this horrendous invasion of privacy and lack of common courtesy – hell, lack of HUMANITY…Clementi jumped to his death off of the George Washington Bridge.
This story, needless to say, has the country buzzing. Celebrities and citizens and politicians have been vocal about this devastating occurance. Please see the heartfelt video made by Ellen Degeneres below:Vodpod videos no longer available.
When I was in Middle School, I was bullied. Thank God we did not have the internet at that time to be a vehicle for this abuse. I walked to and from school and usually did so alone. I was called names, punched, kicked, stones thrown at me. This even happened inside the school with teachers near by. It was clear that even way back then that there were certain students whom the teachers even feared. When young kids see a target, the volume of attackers seems to grow. It would start with one girl calling me a “White bitch” or one girl getting in my face until I would back down…but then it would quickly turn into a crowd. After that, the threats and verbal abuse became a daily occurrence.
I began to find ways to stay home. And this was very difficult because we basically needed a cancer diagnosis for my parents to allow us to miss school. I started to stick my fingers down my throat in attempts to throw up so I would not have to go into that lion’s den. But that didn’t work often or for long.
One morning after a LONG walk to school, I directly stormed into the main office and demanded to talk to the principal. The secretary told me no, he was busy. I said, “Then give me the phone, I need to call the police!” I was fed up. I couldn’t take it anymore. The principal talked to me and kinda attempted to intervene. Needless to say, it did nothing.
The badgering did not end until the day I could not take one more second of that bullshit. A girl in school decided to push me and threaten to kick my ass after school – the most common words heard during those years. I said fine. I was a nervous wreck but I was not going to back down. I had HAD IT!! I met her after school and with a crowd around she said she had a dentist appointment. Well, fuck that. I was already pumped up and had a manic day. The crowd followed as I walked behind her while she made her path home. A few minutes go by and I told her to stop. I then drew back my fist and clocked her in the eye. “Don’t fucking touch me again!!” And I walked away.
After that, no one touched me again.
The cops came to school the next day and read me my rights. I was placed into in-school suspension and had to go downtown with my parents to a hearing. Nothing came of it and it was very scary. But well worth it.
Now. I can only imagine the escalation of bullying now that it is so easy to sit behind a computer screen to torture fellow classmates. The mob mentality is no more evident anywhere as in American schools and on the internet. Put those 2 factors together and you have a recipe for absolute horror. Then to put on top of that being gay…my heart breaks for these kids. Children are dying. Even back in the day without the constant digging via text or IM…I once brought a knife to school. And had I had a gun available…I cannot say in all certainly I would not have gone in that direction. I was scared and pissed off and no one was doing a goddamn thing about it. And I feel the same thing is happening today. Sure they have bully prevention classes in some of the schools now. But that is only monitored at school. Because of the epidemic this is becoming, I am starting to believe we should keep our kids off of the internet or at least strictly monitor and allow for only certain activities.
Kids do not need texting period. SHUT IT DOWN. Kids do not need to be in chat rooms. TALK ON THE PHONE. When people – especially children – feel they have the “protection” of this LCD barrier…when they have a false sense of anonymity – all hell can break loose. We are asking for problems. Fatal problems. Parents need to stand up and take action because there is a really good chance that this is either happening TO their kid or BY their kid.
Pay attention people. Be parents instead of friends. Being popular and cool is NOT what is important for our kids. Lets keep safety and staying ALIVE a priority, shall we??!!
- Tyler Clementi’s Suicide Resonates On Campus, Beyond (huffingtonpost.com)
- Another Gay Teen Commits Suicide After Being Outed (thefrisky.com)
- Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Tyler Clementi Suicide, Bullying of Gay Teens (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Tyler Clementi’s Body Identified (mtv.com)
- The Tragedy Of Gay Teen Suicide – A Roundup (towleroad.com)
- Bullying In Spotlight Following Rash Of Teen Suicides (mtv.com)
- Gay Houston Teenager Driven to Suicide By Bullies (gayrights.change.org)