Category Archives: Suicide

>Another One: Nicholas Kelo Jr.

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At the tender age of 13, Nicholas Kelo Jr. was thirteen. But he won’t ever be fourteen, or any other number, or any other thing that comes after thirteen. Last week, Nicholas Kelo Jr. pried open a safe in his home, took out a gun, and killed himself.

His mother knew something was wrong. She called Nicholas every afternoon on her way home from work and they would chat while she drove. And when she arrived at home, her son would invariably greet her at the door with a PB&J.

Not this time. This time she found Nick on the floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound.

Nick, of course, was the subject of relentless bullying by schoolmates. It had gone on for years, and he would talk to his mother and father about it, and always assure them that the bullies “were not worth his time.”

His mother had gone to school herself, twice, to discuss her son being bullied, but nothing ever came of her complaints. Perhaps school officials still think it’s child’s play. Spitting on someone; child’s play. Tormenting someone; child’s play; Taunting someone literally to death; child’s play.

So, why was Nick bullied, as if any reason makes it okay?

Well, for starters, Nick decided to give up playing football and join the school band. He must be gay, if he gave up sports for music, right? And that must be reason enough to taunt him to the point of suicide.

Right?

On the school bus home after a football game one student began “glicking”–forcibly spitting on–Nick. His mother knew something was wrong when he got home, but Nick kept that bit of torment to himself. His mother and father only found out about the incident after their son was dead.

But Nick, though he was tortured and tormented to death still got the last word. Nick had always told his parents that if anything ever happened to him, he wanted his organs donated. And he donated nine vital organs to needy recipients.

The boy who was spit on and called names and tortured for playing in the band.

source

4 Comments

Filed under Bullying, Nicholas Kelo Jr., Ohio, Suicide

>Two More Suicides…..Or Is It Just One?

>The internet was all abuzz with the news that another LGBTQ teenager had committed suicide after repeated episodes of bullying at school.

Eighteen-year-old Jefferson High School Student Lance Lundsten died Saturday and, according to local news channel KSAX, Lundsten had recently revealed on Facebook that he was gay, and some students at his high school had begun to bully him for his sexual orientation.
And then the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that they believe Lundsten’s death to be a suicide, though they have not released any details about the medical emergency call that was made on Saturday.

Awful news, and yet, maybe it didn’t quite happen that way.

There are now conflicting reports about Lundsten’s death of Lance Lundsten, and it might not have been a suicide.
According to autopsy reports, Lance Lundsten died from cardiac edema, a condition caused by an enlarged heart. Though toxicology reports are still some six to eight weeks away, it seems that there is no evidence that drugs or alcohol played any role in his death.
Lundsten’s father reportedly called KSAX and said that the coroner ruled that Lance died not of suicide, but coronary edema. He said his son had an enlarged heart, and that neither drugs nor alcohol was found in the teen’s system.
Lance Lundsten was gay; and he was bullied at school, but right now it doesn’t seem as though his death was a suicide as a result of bullying.
The story continues to unfold.
But then we have another teenager dead over the weekend, and this one is a suicide; and it is the result of bullying, though Tiffani Maxwell wasn’t gay.
She was just a target.
Tiffani Maxwell was apparently bullied so badly that, after fellow students falsely told teachers they had seen her doing drugs, and the school subsequently expelled her, that she took her own life.
Her mother, Sandy, told news channels: “She got text messages, saying ‘Tiffani you’re in rehab.’ ‘You’re on drugs.’”
She wasn’t the gay kid, she was just a kid; she wasn’t bullied because she was gay, she was bullied because other kids have nothing better to do than taunt and harass a fellow student.
And now she’s dead.

2 Comments

Filed under Bullying, Lance Lundsten, LGBTQ Youth, Suicide, Tiffani Maxwell, Uncategorized

>President Obama: It Gets Better

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Beautiful words, beautifully spoken. And as DavidDust reminds us [HERE], we would likely never hear these words form a president McCain….or :::shudder::: President Mama Grizzly Bore, but……
I wish he’d have spoken sooner.
It always seems to me that he takes a little extra time when responding to issues important to the LGBT community. In fact, it seems, as he did with the Proclamation of Pride Month, that he speaks up after we hear from Secretary of Sate Hillary Clinton.
Just once, I’d like to hear him speak first.
Cynically out.

1 Comment

Filed under Bullying, It Gets Better, LGBT, President Obama, Suicide, The Trevor Project, YouTube

>Go Purple Tomorrow

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What is Spirit Day?

The idea behind Spirit Day, first created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, is a simple one, not dissimilar to the idea of “Spirit Week” held in many high schools, and can be summed up in three words: Everyone Rally Together.

Spirit Day honors the teenagers who had taken their own lives in recent weeks. But just as importantly, it’s also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them.

Purple symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT Pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

As one of the event’s Facebook pages says: “This event is not a seminar nor is it a rally. There is NO meeting place. All you have to do is wear purple.”

Wearing purple on October 20 is a simple way to show the world that you stand by these courageous young people and a simple way to stand UP to the bullies. Remember those lives we’ve tragically lost, and show your solidarity with those who are still fighting. ‘Go Purple’ today!

Go here: GLAAD

5 Comments

Filed under Bullying, GLAAD, LGBT, Suicide, Uncategorized

>…And Again…..Tyler Clementi……

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The other day I was talking to a couple of friends, and one mentioned that he’d been a little busy and hadn’t read my blog lately, and, well, what was I writing about. So, I told him…..

Seth Walsh
Asher Brown
Justin Aarberg
Tyler Wilson
Billy Lucas 

I told him it was all sadness and death. The lives of young men so quickly ended because of taunts and teasing and shoves. Broken arms, broken lives, broken families left behind wondering what happened.

And then  came Tyler Clementi, and I almost couldn’t bring myself to write about it. It seemed like my blog was all about suicide and bullies, but then, well, I call this place I Should Be Laughing, don’t I? And these young men, and countless others who came and went before, and the others that will surely follow, all should be laughing. But they aren’t.

Tyler Clementi is no longer laughing.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan has charged two Rutgers University freshmen, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, both eighteen, with two counts each of invasion of privacy for using a camera to view and transmit a live image of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi–Dharun Ravi’s roommate–having sex with another male student.

Tyler Clementi killed himself after the video aired online. But it was all just a joke, right?

One that went too far. In fact, Dharun Ravi has also been charged with two additional counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly attempting to use the camera to view and transmit another encounter involving Clementi just two days after the first video.

Tyler Clementi wrote the following on his Facebook page: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” His wallet was found on the George Washington Bridge, and his car parked nearby. His body was recovered from the Hudson River days later.

All in good fun.

Push them into a locker.
Call them names in the hallway.
Break their arms.
Invade their privacy and out them online.

All in good fun.

This is not an LGBT problem. This is an American problem. This problem needs to be solved by all of us, from friends and family, to the teachers and school administrators, and the courts. 

I am so sick of listening to school officials recite their little speeches about how they don’t tolerate bullying, while a family readies themselves for a funeral.

I am sick of listening to people say that Ravi and Wei probably won’t be charged with anything other than invasion of privacy because, well, that’s really all they did wrong. Tell that to Tyler Clementi’s family, who would still have their son if Ravi and Wei had found something better to do in September.

I am sick of parents saying it just kids being kids. It isn’t; kids learn this behavior in their homes. When they hear their own families put down LGBT people, these kids begin to believe that’s the acceptable way to act. They begin to believe that a push in the hallway is okay, as long as it’s just a fag getting pushed. A broken arm is okay, if the arm is on the queer kid. Outing someone on the Internet is just plain fun.

And then they all express remorse when the news of the suicide breaks.

I didn’t mean to do it.
It was just a joke.
We were just playing.

And yet someone dies.

source
source

2 Comments

Filed under Bullying, Hate, It Gets Better, LGBT, Suicide, Tyler Clementi

>….And Again…..

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Last week Asher Brown was in the eight grade, but he’ll never make it to the ninth. He shot himself in the head last week, seeking what he thought was his only refuge from the endless taunts and bullying he endured in school.

In school. Where he should have been learning, and laughing and playing and growing.

Not any more.

And all because of the daily harassment he suffered at the hands of four students at Hamilton Middle School in Houston.

His family says Asher was “bullied to death” because he was a small kid, because of his religion, because he didn’t wear the cool clothes, and because people assumed he was gay. His mother and stepfather, David and Amy Truong, say the bullying went as far as other students “performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class.”

Asher Brown’s parents said that they had complained time and again, over the course of eighteen months, to school officials about their son’s abuse, but that nothing was ever done. Amy Truong made numerous phone calls to the school, but they were never returned.

School officials say they never received a single complaint from Asher Brown’s parents before the suicide, and district spokeswoman Kelli Durham said no students, school employees or the boy’s parents ever reported that he was being bullied.

Now who’s being bullied? The Truong’s are outraged because they say the school,  and the district, are simply protecting themselves, and the bullies, rather than protecting Asher Brown when they had the chance. 

Amy Truong: “That’s absolutely inaccurate — it’s completely false. I did not hallucinate phone calls to counselors and assistant principals. We have no reason to make this up. … It’s like they’re calling us liars.”

And the Truongs aren’t the only ones complaining. The website of KRIV-TV, which aired a report of Asher Brown’s suicide, has been inundated with comments from parents and students saying that Asher had been bullied by classmates for several years.

One of the last things Asher Brown said, on the day he died, was to tell his stepfather that he was gay. And his father said that was okay.

You want to see progress in America for the LGBT community? See the end of DADT? The end of DOMA? Marriage equality? Simple equality? I wanna see an America where kids don’t kill themselves because they’re bullied and tormented for being short, or have red hair, or wear glasses, or dress funny, or have accents, or might be gay, or are gay, or…or…or….

source

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Filed under Hate, Suicide

>Phoebe Price

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In case you aren’t following, or haven’t heard, the story of Phoebe Price, here it is:

Phoebe Price was the “new girl” at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts, and, for being the “new girl” she was mercilessly tormented by a group of her fellow classmates until she finally could no longer stand the abuse and killed herself.

These students who tortured this girl, who were later dubbed the “Mean Girls” by Massachusetts newspapers, would call Phoebe Price “Irish slut” or “whore” on Twitter, Craigslist, Facebook and other “networking” sites. At school, though, her books were routinely knocked out of her hands as she walked the halls; people threw things at her; her face was scribbled out of photographs on the school walls; threatening text messages were sent to her cell phone.

Apparently, all this hatred at Phoebe Price was because she made the mistake of briefly dating a popular senior football player in her first freshman weeks at the school.

And now, she’s dead.

On January 14th, after another day of hell in school, where Phoebe Price was harassed and threatened in the school library and in a hallway, she walked home. One of the “Mean Girls” drove by and threw a can of Red Bull at her. And probably laughed as she sped off.

Phoebe hung herself in a stairwell of her home.

An awful end, perhaps, except it didn’t end there. Those bitches who tortured this girl posted vicious comments on the Phoebe Pince’s Facebook memorial page. Even in death, Phoebe Price was taunted and bullied.

Nine students–seven of them girls–have been indicted on charges ranging from criminal harassment to stalking to civil rights violations. One little bitch–and you might think me mean by calling her that…you might think it bullying,…but that’s what they are–was charged with assault with a dangerous–the Red Bull can. Two lovely young boys were charged with statutory rape.

Awful. Right?
Terrible, how hateful kids can be. Right?
Where do they learn these things?

Well, my guess would be, at home.

See, the mother of one of those nine bitches and rapists is defending her daughter, saying she might have said mean thing to Phoebe Price, but Phoebe Price was no innocent girl. Well, maybe Phoebe Price wasn’t a nice girl; who knows. But she can’t speak for herself, now, can she?

Angeles Chanon says Phoebe Price called her daughter, Sharon Chanon Velazquez, names, as well. Sharon is charged with stalking and violation of civil rights resulting in bodily injury. Angeles Chanon goes on to say, in her infinite wisdom, “They’re teenagers. They call names.”
And a girl dies.

Angeles Chanon says her daughter cried the day she was indicted. really? How sad. But, and I’m guessing here, Sharon Chanon Velazquez didn’t cry at all when Phoebe Price was pushed and shoved and called a whore; and Sharon Chanon Velazquez didn’t cry when someone threw something at Phoebe Price, and I’m sure as hell positive Sharon Chanon Velazquez didn’t cry when she heard the news that Phoebe Price hanged herself rather than face one more day at school.

So cry now, Sharon Chanon Velazquez. And let your mother defend you.

At least you’re still alive so she can.

12 Comments

Filed under Angeles Chanon, Bullying, Phoebe Price, Sharon Chanon Velazquez, Suicide

>Expecto Patronum!

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That’s Wizard-speak from the Harry Potter books for I await a protector.

Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter, has become a protector, of sorts, having recently made a sizable donation to the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that operates a nationwide, around-the-clock suicide prevention helpline for LGBT youth.

Daniel Radcliffe: “I am very pleased to begin my support of The Trevor Project, which
saves lives every day through its critical work. It’s extremely distressing to consider that in 2009 suicide is a top three killer of young people, and it’s truly devastating to learn that LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. I deeply hope my support can raise the organization’s visibility so even more despondent youth become aware of The Trevor Helpline’s highly trained counselors and Trevor’s many other resources. It’s vitally important that young people understand they are not alone and, perhaps even more important, that their young lives have real value.”

Expecto patronum indeed.

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Filed under Celebrity, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter, LGBT, Suicide, The Trevor Project

>Not One More

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Another young boy has killed himself over being bullied at school; they’ve even coined a phrase for it: bully-cide. This is getting to be an almost daily occurrence lately, and something needs to be done before we become desensitized to the whole issue.
Jaheem Herrera, eleven years old, hanged himself at his home after relentless bullying at Dunaire Elementary School. His ten-year-old sister, Yerralis, found him hanging in the closet, a fabric belt tied around his neck.

Masika Bermudez, Jaheem’s mother, spoke briefly at the vigil for her son, and after a short prayer, she urged Jaheem’s friends to talk to their parents; she begged the parents to listen to their children.

Norman Keene, Jaheem’s stepfather, said the family knew the boy was a target of bullies, but until his death they didn’t understand the scope. “They called him gay and a snitch,” he said, “All the time they’d call him this.”

How did we come to live in a world where this is tolerated, where it is accepted? And please, don’t tell me it isn’t tolerated and accepted, because there have been too many young boys and girls found hanging in closets for it not to be.

How did we come to live in a world where calling someone gay is such a horrible name that these kids kill themselves to make it stop?

We all talk about gay marriage and equality for gay Americans and equal rights and protection under the law, but children are choosing death over being identified as gay, whether they are gay or not. They would rather die than suffer another moment of being tortured.

How did we come to live like this?

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Filed under Bullying, Jaheem Herrera, LGBT, Suicide

>Fat. Mean. Fag. Slut. Retard. Queer. Stupid.

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He had reportedly been tormented by his classmates in middle school and again in high school, but administrators at both schools didn’t see the need to intervene. What was so special about this kid? This “special needs” kid? He was six feet, six inches tall, and weighed three hundred pounds. How could he be bullied?
Retard
Moron
Dumbass
Fat

He didn’t fit in with what was “normal.” And his classmates went out of their way to make sure he knew that… day, after day, after day… until he finally broke down.

On October 22, 2008, 14-year-old Jeremiah Lasater, who had been taunted and even had food thrown at him during lunch, locked himself in a bathroom at Vasquez High School in Acton, CA, and shot himself in the head.
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She met him on MySpace; she said he was 16, and that he was hot. The girl asked her mother if she could add the boy to her MySpace page, and the mother said okay. After a few weeks, she received an odd message from the boy. He said he didn’t know if he could be friends with her; he’d heard that she wasn’t nice to her friends.
The next day, at school, the girl handed out invitations to her upcoming birthday party. After class, she raced home to see if that cute boy had responded. She still wanted to talk to him, even though he’d said mean things to her. Her mother, who was monitoring her daughter’s MySpace page, signed on to the account. But she was busy; she had errands to run; she couldn’t stay by her daughter’s side and see what messages the boy had sent.
Mean
Slut
Fat

Twenty minutes later Megan Meier hanged herself in her bedroom closet.
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His friends knew him as “Twiggy” for his lean, 6-foot-1-inch, 112-pound physique; he had a dry, quick wit and musical talent; he played piano, enjoyed video games, anime, Harry Potter books and “cracking puzzles.” He was a nice kid, what one might call a normal kid; quiet and shy, but outgoing with his group of friends.
But he was other things to a group of bullies at his school. He was a target; he was picked on, taunted, shoved in lockers. Most of the taunts were related to him being considered gay, though his parents said he “didn’t identify himself that way.” He was a skinny kid, a nerdy, normal kid, who became the bullseye for the bullies in his class. He tried to ignore the teasing, but did complain to a teacher, who responded by moving the bullies’ desks; that only made it worse.
Gay
Fag
Queer
Homo

Seventeen-year-old Eric Mohat was harassed so continuously in school that when one bully said publicly in class, “Why don’t you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you,” he did.
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He was just eleven when he took his own life. He was just another “normal” kid, except for the bullseye attached to him by other students. He played football, basketball, and was a boy scout, but that didn’t stop kids from harassing him, called him gay and making fun of him for the way he dressed.
His mother knew he was being teased at the school; he was being made fun of; he was being bullied.
Fag
Gay
Queer
Homo

His mother had alerted the school about the bullying; about the gang that threatened to kill him; about the girl he bumped in class who said she would kill him. She said a mediator came in to resolve the dispute.

The resolution? Have the boy and his tormentor eat lunch every day.
It was too much. Carl Joseph Walker Hoover was so overwhelmed by bullying that he committed suicide by hanging himself with an extension cord.
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Where does this end? Or does it? When do people step up, and stand up, to this kind of abuse?
I know these kids; I was some of them. I know how it feels to be picked on, then and now. All it takes is a snide comment overheard and suddenly I’m twelve again, being called a fag in class; or fourteen and being called a queer because I’m no good at baseball.
So, when do we stand up and say that this is enough? I think it’s past time for us, all of us, to stop this kind of abuse, whether it’s hurled at an eleven year old boy, or a girl of sixteen, or a grown woman in the grocery store.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.
Yes. They do.

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Filed under Bob, Bullying, Carl Joseph Walker Hoover, Eric Mohat, Jeremiah Lasater, Megan Meier, Rant, Suicide