Friday Bummer: 12-Year-Old Hangs Himself Due To Bullying
This story is yet another painful reminder of a friend from high school who was “happy”. She lived with her mother in a townhome. Her mother came back from holiday to find her hanging by a rope from the second story banister.
I went to her funeral 10 years ago and I thought about how anyone could have prevented it from happening. Medication? Therapy? Locking her up? Even then, if you force a person to talk about their problems, how do you know they’re telling the truth?
It’s difficult to control free will.
The movie Bully came out last year. It’s a decent movie, documenting P2P bullying in schools across America. It brings awareness to a general audience that was shown in theaters and now on demand. Critics and fair-weather celebrities everywhere have said how this movie is important to our volatile society, how it provides a voice for the voiceless. Sure, I guess. However, it’s just one movie.
I hate to bring a cynical point into this article but really? Ricky Martin, Russell Simmons, Ryan Seacrest, Channing Tatum, Randy Jackson and Jimmy Fallon are still tirelessly working towards the eradication of bullying?
F*cking Twitter. You are so GD terrible sometimes.
Hey, remember the movie KIDS? It was hailed as “A wake-up call to the modern world!” by the New York Times. It is a film by the youth-obsessed Larry Clark, who interestingly enough, made a film back in 2001 called Bully based on a true story about teenagers who plot to murder one of their own, who has been too much of a bully to them.
Awareness is great and moving pictures are a fantastic means of communication, but it doesn’t stop 12-year-old assh*les from exercising their boundaries.
Have you met a 12-year-old boy? They’re dicks.
Even now, with my 20-month-old daughter, I tell her to stop doing something and she continues doing it. I tell her to “come here,” she runs away.
Kids will always be dicks.
Here we are, still with the problem.
Joel Morales has now been added to the list of bully/suicide evidence as kids at his school relentlessly taunted him about his intelligence, his height and his deceased father who killed himself in the New York City apartment he shared with his mother. Joel lived in East Harlem and even moved to a different school after enduring incessant taunting for months, but the bullying persisted.
For the sake of sending you to the terrible website that is MSNBC, here’s what happened:
“Kids chased Morales, threw sticks and pipes at him and teased him for his smarts and his 4-foot-9 stature,” his family said. “His anguish reached a breaking point when bullies taunted him about his father, who died when he was four years old,” according to relatives.
An occupational therapist who worked with Morales at one of the schools because of his size said he only reluctantly talked about his problems.
“It was very difficult, especially with a child like Joel who wants so badly to please everyone, to see that he was really in pain, that he was struggling,” said Maria Ubiles.
Arlene Gago, a youth minister from a church group, said she spoke with Morales regularly at the Jefferson Houses where he lived but never knew of his distress. “I always asked him, ‘How you doing? How’s school?'” she said. “We talked but he’d never tell me what was going on.”
A classmate told Morales’ family that the boy had said he was tired of the bullying and told them the details of the remark about his father that sent him over the edge.
Police said Morales left no suicide note.
What’s the solution?
Well, there is none. Similar to murder, bullying will never go away – though it has a better opportunity to be controlled.
As parents, I believe it is our job to prepare our own kids for good vs. evil in the world. Celebrating differences is key for ammunition to use against others who attempt to use words to inflict pain.
I really like Sesame Street and the way they deliver positive tools to parents and their children. One of my favorite, more recent, episodes of the SS is where Big Bird gets an invitation to The Good Birds’ Club. He asks for help to change his appearance to fit in with the club’s prerequisites.
If you really care about the issue of children’s safety at school then do something about it. I’m not implying to stop sharing important posts about bullying, but your ‘share’ will get lost amidst a status update about your friend getting trashed last night, your other friend’s picture of his new baby or your sister’s Instagram photo of her cat dressed as Nyan Cat.
I’m tired of seeing these bully/suicide stories make the news.
Also, Slacktivism on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t do sh*t. Become a leader and lead by example. Clicking ‘Like’ on a post does not equal volunteering at a local school, getting to know some of the teachers, or engaging kids in community sports.
It’s easy to see the numbers online, but do you know where the numbers are in your community?