Yet another young life has been tragically lost because of bullying. Last week, fourteen-year-old Phillip Parker committed suicide. His parents say he had been cruelly bullied for being gay. It’s not enough to love your kids and to be upset and worried about the bullying. Parents, educators, youth leaders, and all caring adults must take these actions to help prevent young people who are being bullied from being overwhelmed by despair.
After being told by three teachers not to tattle, 10 year old Ashlynn Connor committed suicide because she felt miserable and hopeless about the bullying and incessant teasing that happened at her school. Let’s honor her memory – and the memory of all the young people who tragically decided to end their lives – by doing everything in our power to make sure that cruel behavior is stopped and that children have safe places to talk about their problems and get help.
Once again, the news is filled with the tragic story of a teen suicide from bullying – this time of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer who lost hope after being bullied repeatedly and took his life. How does something like this happen? And, what can we do to prevent another tragedy? Progress is being made, but the best anti-bullying laws, policies, and programs in the world won’t work if adults don’t notice and intervene in the moment when bullying occurs – and if kids don’t have skills for managing their emotional triggers, staying in charge of what they say and do, and being persistent in getting help.