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Bakersfield-Area Teen Dies After Suicide Attempt; No Charges Will Be Filed

Jim Burroway

September 29th, 2010

Tehachapi teen Seth Walsh, who committed suicide following anti-gay bullyingAnother day, another gay teen is dead:

Seth Walsh, the Tehachapi 13-year-old who hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied, died Tuesday afternoon after nine days on life support.

Tehachapi police investigators interviewed some of the young people who taunted Seth the day he hanged himself and determined despite the tragic outcome of their ridicule, their actions do not constitute a crime.

“Several of the kids that we talked to broke down into tears,” Jeff Kermode, Tehachapi Police Chief, said. “They had never expected an outcome such as this.”

Seth had been picked on for years because he was gay, but fellow classmates said that the staff at Jacobsen Middle School offered Seth no help or protection. People run red lights without expecting anyone to die in a horrific traffic accident, but they are charged with manslaughter or negligent homicide. Red lights were flashing at Tehachapi just as brightly and a child is dead because of the direct actions of his peers and the negligence of school officials. But they get a pass because, well heck, nobody meant nuttin’ by it. It was all just harmless fun. It just goes to show how seriously too many school administrators take the lives of gay students in 2010.

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Bernie
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

SWEET JESUS!! THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!

What is this like the 4th child in 3 weeks?!

It’s become so that I don’t even want to look at the news. All I do is sit and weep for these children. It it’s me in a peculiar sense because I thought of killing myself when I was coming of age.

May God Almighty have mercy on their souls. May God have mercy on the ambivalent school officials.

As far as the FRC, FOC, AFA goes, may God have mercy on your ignorant, IGNORANT poor excuse for souls, for promoting your disgusting propaganda.

Something has to be done to bring this light, nationally. The charlatans like Dobson, Perkins, and Fischer have to be EXPOSED for what they are!!!

Leonardo Ricardo
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

The irresponsible nasty hate-mongers didn´t think this would happen? Don´t be silly, the San Joaquin adult hate machine has been operating at full throttle for decades…these young thuggets grew up amongst grandstanding adults with warped minds and now they have blood on their hands!

Raymond
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Being a gay person myself and 15 years old, I know how this kid felt. Maybe he thought it was the only way out, but it’s not. Why can’t people just just understand people are people, gay or straight or whatever? I hate society.

Lou H
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

This is NOT a new problem. It’s been going on for many, many years. Most school teachers, counselors, and administration just don’t want to deal with it. Let someone raise a hand to a football player and all kinds of attention gets paid to him. Let a young gay man/lady hang themselves and it’s all about what MIGHT HAVE BEEN DONE to prevent it.

Emily K
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

several of the kids broke down in tears, eh? since when do crocodile tears get one a free pass for horrific actions?

what the hell did these kids THINK would happen? What did they WANT to happen?

Regan DuCasse
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

I, who is often mouthy, is now beyond words…

Regan DuCasse
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Ok…’bullying’ doesn’t have a criminal definition, but assault and battery does.

Pushing, shoving, verbal abuse, stalking, harassment…all ARE under a criminal code.

Just because this involves CHILDREN doesn’t make it any less a criminal issue.
I know there are legal advocates who know this and we’ve had Senate Bills AND assembly bills that have anti bullying laws in place requiring schools to be accountable.
WTF?!

I have some phone calls to make.

Andrew McKeown
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Raymond – you are a strong, courageous 15 year old gay person and I admire you for posting on this story!

I am a 34 year old gay man. I remember being 15 and I know it can be confusing and painful. Please know that there are people out here in this world just like you. Keep true to yourself.

This story breaks my heart. All of us need to rally behind our anti-bullying laws in our states. We have to be courageous like the young man who posted on here. We just have to.

Timothy Kincaid
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Remember that Bakersfield was the center of support for Proposition 8. It was in Kern County that they refused to perform any civil marriages if they had to let gay people get married as well.

This kid lived in the very heart of intolerance and hatred. There simply is no cultural message that picking on gay kids is not acceptable.

I can’t imagine the hell he endured on a regular basis. My heart goes out to him.

cowboy
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Is it Bakersville or Bakersfield?

TomTallis
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

It’s Bakersfield. Take it from a Southern Californian, when mother nature breaks wind, it comes out in Bakersfield.

Bakersfield is also represented in the state Assembly by that virulently anti-gay legislator who was caught coming out of a gay bar in Sacramento.

Some of those San Joaquin Valley towns have an anti-gay church on every streetcorner. Bakersfield (and Visalia) have them in the middle of every block, too.

Jim Burroway
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

It is Bakersfield. Sorry for the confusion.

Emily K
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Raymond, stay strong and courageous! If things ever get too tough and you need someone to talk to who also came out at 15, i can give you my email.

Candace
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

“As far as the FRC, FOC, AFA goes, may God have mercy on your ignorant, IGNORANT poor excuse for souls, for promoting your disgusting propaganda.”

You all need to get one thing clear in your mind: THIS IS NOT DONE OUT OF IGNORANCE: IT’S DONE DELIBERATELY.

To anti-gays, the only good gay is a dead gay. They don’t care if we ALL committ suicide– in fact, they hope we do.

They want to wipe us off the face of the earth. All of us, every single last one of us. That’s how deep their hatred runs, and I don’t see how anyone can NOT see that.

We MUST protect our young and stop worrying that–God forbid!– that if we mentor vulnerable gays, somebody might think we’re not JUST LIKE the hetero couple next door! Well, we’re NOT like the hetero next door, we’re GAY and LESBIAN and we need to stop cringing around being so politically correct and not wanting to make waves that we allow THEM to destroy what is OURS.

I’m not a politician and I’m not a social worker and I’m not an activist, but I know there HAS TO BE SOME WAY that we can come together to tell the world F*CK YOU, we’ll protect what is ours.

I already buried my 20 year old daughter over the same thing and every child on the news is like a new knife in my chest. I want to do something, but I don’t know what to do. It’s obvious that the approach we’re taking now isn’t working.

We can’t just keep looking at the faces of our dead, writing a couple of posts about it, and getting up from the computer and going with our lives. SOMEBODY has to come up with a better plan of action that what we have.

Seraphiel
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

I stand by my statement that this will continue until *school officials* start going to prison for criminal negligence.

John in the Bay Area
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

I think that it is positive that we are talking about these suicides and putting faces on the problem, even if the parents of the victims aren’t always happy about it. This problem is real. It is tragic. We as a nation need to address it. But we are only going to start addressing it, when we start talking about it. And as sad as it is, a picture showing just how much of a kid the victim was helps jar people out of their ideology.

Mark F.
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

I’m wondering about this boy’s parents. Why didn’t they do anything if this had been going on for such a long time? I wonder if he told them anything.

lurker
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

this epidemic of kids who cannot bear living anymore due to harassment must just be the tip of the iceburg.

For every kid who has it so bad that s/he committs suicide, there must be hundreds living with PTSD-like symptoms from the psychological wounds they’ve managed to survive.

Theo
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

I just want to echo what Regan said above: “bullying” may not be a defined crime under CA law, but a whole host of acts that may comprise bullying – assault, battery, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, etc. – are crimes. Unless we hear from all parties that the bullying in this case involved only name-calling and no physical acts, no destruction of property, and no threats of violence, then we should assume that the police are covering for the bullies.

I don’t care if these bullies shed some tears on cue. When I was a teen, I could put on a performance worthy of Bill Clinton and then be laughing about it 30 minutes later. We shouldn’t let this story drop.

Bernie
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Candace, I am right there with you. The thing is, I tell everyone , friends, and everyone I meet. I make it MY BUSINESS to promulgate the lies and hatred that are being proliferated by these disgusting Un-Christlike bigots.

I send letters to the FRC, but the cowards never respond.

I think it’s high time that Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center starts investigating.

Rayomond, NEVER, EVER lose hope or your courage, young man. God does not make junk! It’s the evil that dwells in the hearts of people that allow things like this to happen.

Mark F.
September 30th, 2010 | LINK

Yes, bullying often involves real crimes (not just calling names) and the children who bully and the adults who cover for them should be held accountable.

Nero Undas
September 1st, 2013 | LINK

why and why, this sweet boy had lost all hope and then you let it, people who have let this happen to die, paid blood blood, crying god why it all happened, where your attention!!, I recently saw the news I do not think I able to continue,

so may you rest in there my beloved son, I will miss the children will color the god of this world, amen.

too piercing hearts, peace will always follow your every move my dear child

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