UPDATED: Death by bullying.
Sadly, another kid has killed himself after bullying over his sexuality. Yet the Right-wing continues to deny bullying is a problem and tries to downplay what is happening. Here is a second video on the story.
Jamey, according to press reports, "routinely blogged about school bullying." Routine! What was done about it? "I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?" Another day this month he wrote: "No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you're the ones calling me faggot and tearing me down."
But the bullies followed him posting anonymous messages on his blog. One said, "JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT, ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!" Another wrote, "I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it : ) It would make everyone WAY more happier!"
The boy's parents say he was having a hard time because of his sexuality. Most particular he was concerned about how much worse the bullying would get in high school. Jamey's mother said that because of his sexuality "some of his classmates used those issues as an excuse to say horrible and malicious things about him."
Now, I want to say this loud and clear: NO, BULLYING IS NOT A RITE OF PASSAGE. And, if you call this sort of bullying "normal" then your moral compass needs adjustment. This is a real problem in the schools, where kids are warehoused by the state and where thugs, some of them teachers, have free reign. Every libertarian should be aware this is going on, and that kids are forced by state law to endure these things because of mandatory attendance laws. As long as kids are required to attend government schools then the first obligation of the school is to protect them from thuggery.
I look at the response from Jamey's school and I'm appalled. They speak about all the counseling they are offering to the students who are still alive—I assume that includes the little thugs who told Jamey to go kill himself as well. The school speaks about everything it does to counsel—counseling provides jobs and the teacher's unions love that. What they need to do is remove the students who do the bullying. But, the school didn't say a single thing about what they tried to do to prevent the bullying. So, the bureaucrats are there to hold the hands of bullies after their victim dies. How nice! Next time, do something about it before you have a dead body on your hands.
There is one other issue that Jamey's death raises. And I know some people won't like it. Tough shit, I'm not in the mood, not when another kid has killed himself. Jamey wrote about the death of a beloved relative and a friend. He wrote that he would soon be with them and was looking forward to seeing them again. The belief that there is a life after this one is not only false, but malicious. It devalues this life by pretending there is a better one waiting for people. I know that is not popular because most Americans believe this crap, but it has to be said. Telling kids, some of whom are suicidal, that there is a "better life" awaiting them after they are dead is only encouraging them to take their life.
Now, here we have a Christian activist giving their line about such issues. His view is that bullying is hardly an issue that we should be concerned about and that it's just part of growing up. NO! IT'S NOT!! When kids are bullied and kill themselves it is something we should be concerned about. And, whether this is normal is not the issue. Throughout history many horrible things were normal, which no longer are so. So it ought to be with bullying.