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Jamey’s Bullies Celebrate His Death

Jim Burroway

September 28th, 2011

The parents of Jamey Rodemeyer, the Buffalo-area teen who killed himself following constant bullying, told NBC’s Today that the bullying is still going on even after his death. This time, they’re being directed toward Jamey’s sister:

The parents of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who was found dead at their home on Sept. 18, indicated in an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry on Tuesday that their daughter endured further taunts at a school function immediately after Jamey’s wake. At a homecoming dance she attended shortly after her brother’s death, a potentially poignant moment turned ugly after a song by Lady Gaga, Jamey’s favorite artist, who recently dedicated a song at a concert in his memory.

“She was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all of his friends,’’ Jamey’s mother, Tracy, told Curry. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ and ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that.

“My daughter came home all upset. It was supposed to be a time for her to grieve and have fun with her friends, and it turned into bullying even after he’s gone.’’

“I can’t grasp it in my mind,’’ said Tim Rodemeyer, Jamey’s father. “ I don’t know why anyone would do that. They have no heart, that’s basically what it comes down to.’’

Jamey’s parents said that he often spoke openly about the bullying at Heim Middle School, but he became more withdrawn at the start of his freshman year in high school.  His parents discovered an online post after his death, reading, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so that people will listen to me?’’

Amherst police are investigating whether Jeremy was a victim of harassment or hate crimes before his suicide.

Comments

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WMDKitty
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

I think that it’s pretty clear he was harassed. Bullying is, after all, a form of harassment.

Does anyone know if charges will be brought against the bullies? Hell, has any disciplinary action been taken, at home, in school, or within the legal system?

It seems to me that someone should have stepped in long before it came to suicide.

Jaft
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

That’s…disgusting…I don’t even have words.

I really shouldn’t be surprised by now, but…

Lucrece
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Until you start criminalizing bullying as it should, given that if I harass people in the workplace I can get fired and slammed with a civil suit, you won’t see bullying go down.

Bureaucratic statements have little meaning if there are no serious consequences for failing to enforce them.

The bullies either need to be criminally liable or consistently expelled from school. But that won’t happen since schools get more money per students that attend and the policies in place make it almost imposible to kick out predators from schools.

dave
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

His parents should put the blame where it belongs, RELIGION. That’s where the sick people get their ammunition. The pope shares the blame. The church enables it. They tell lies. They’ll say it’s a choice and it isn’t. Everyone says it is. Religion is a form of mental illness. It kills.

Jay Jonson
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

I thought you didn’t want people to glamorize suicide. Satisfied?

Jim Burroway
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

That is a non-sequiter. Do you mean to say we should make suicide appear more enticing?

Erin
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Lucrece, punishment at school or workplace, yes that’s totally appropriate. However, the government cannot come in and criminalize someone unless it is a threat or criminal harassment. That may have happened to Jamey, but it is more likely he faced non-criminal bullying. This is the second site I’ve gone on to tell a gay rights supporter to cool it with the support for slashing Constitutional rights. Speech is protected where levels of government are concerned. Please stop living up to the lies of the religious right that gays are out to criminalize speech and belief. Yes, what was said was horrible and disgusting, and these people will have to live with it if they have a conscience. Unfortunately a lot of people in this world do not. For them hopefully there is an intervention and disciplinary action from school staff. I support policies in schools and the workplace, because all students and employees should be protected and have a healthy learning/working environment. Also, such places are within their rights to make their own rules for their establishments. But insisting the government become the thought and speech police means we all have to give up our 1st Amendment rights, not just the bad guys.

Erin
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

And now you may commence the reactions of those who don’t remember Civics in high school and ignored all of my post except the part where I said the evil people shouldn’t be arrested. Hopefully those on this us can understand the concept better than those on the other site.

Priya Lynn
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Erin, students in school don’t have the same free speech rights that people outside of school do. The school can rightfully suppress speach that is harmful to others and should do so.

MBJK
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Where were the adults at the dance to step up and do something then??? Who’s in charge of that school the bullies or the school board and teaches? Seems like the bullies run everything there.

Fact-Check
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

The 1st amendment only gives free speech if your speech does not infringe on the rights of others.

It is not an absolute right.

Charles
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

My disgust for those teenagers is off the scale. If I was at that school or near that community I would would most definitely make it known to those who behaved in such a manner. I hope that they begin to endure a great deal of harassment/bullying/shunning from their classmates.

Timothy Kincaid
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t think it would be extreme or a punishment unfitting to expel – permanently – the children who chanted those things.

Yes, they are children. But we don’t let children who are dangerously violent go to school with others. Let the parents of these monsters who have murder in their hearts spend the money for private education.

It’s a safety issue. Having seen the consequences of their actions they have determined to continue in these actions. They are a threat to other children.

Secondarily, I think the Rodemeyers should immediately start a civil suit against the parents of those children. They are legally responsible for what their children do, just as if those children vandalized or stole property.

And “I didn’t know” is not an excuse. They had a moral, legal and social responsibility to be aware.

I’m tired of heterosexuals thinking that their children happen by magic or are a “gift from God”. If you wanna boink and not use contraception, then for the next 18 years you have an obligation to be fully aware of where your kids are, what they are doing, and with whom.

Timothy Kincaid
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

dave,

your comment is unacceptable at Box Turtle Bulletin.

We don’t allow “homosexuals are perverts” and we don’t allow “religion is a form of mental illness.” This isn’t the place for “AIDS kills fags”, nor the place for “religion kills.”

If you want to discuss the church that the other children attend, then do some research and find out if they do, what that church teaches and then comment on it.

Or, less specific, you could discuss recent anti-gay statements made by preachers in that town. Or the general religiosity of the geographic area.

And you could even get away with a minimal amount of generic outburst about the foolish teachings of some religions.

But hate-filled rants aren’t welcome here. Not from right wingers. Not from you.

Erin
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Priya, my first sentence said I agreed disciplinary action at school is totally acceptable and I believe the rest of my post spelled out that I support such disciplinary action. What I spoke against was criminal charges.

Erin
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Fact Check, speech itself does not infringe on another’s rights. Only in cases of threats, slander, or libel. As upsetting as it is, we cannot arrest these parents for what they’ve taught their children. I don’t know all of the details, but I understand there were some online exchanges. If that was enough to constitute criminal harassment, the parents may have a case. But could everyone please cool it with the “parents who pass on anti-gay values to their children should be arrested” crap?

Priya Lynn
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Erin, I didn’t read your comment carefully enough, sorry.

Jay Jonson
September 29th, 2011 | LINK

I apologize for the snarky posting above. It is a non-sequitur, and unfair to the point you were making about not glamorizing suicide. Please forgive me.

Fact-Check
September 30th, 2011 | LINK

I never said the parents/kids should be arrested.

I am only clarifying that we do not have an absolute freedom of speech. There are the cases you mentioned (which may apply here). There are also things like nuisances which freedom of speech does not protect. For example, you can’t make a shit load of noise outside someone’s house if it disrupts their enjoyment of their house. Etc.

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