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This Is What Bullying Looks Like

Jim Burroway

December 4th, 2011
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This clip was uploaded on August 10, but went viral over the weekend. Jonah posted a quick update saying “Thank you for everyone’s love and support,” but now that video is gone. I hope someone somewhere knows who he is and is able to make sure he has the support he needs.  And I hope everyone who opposes anti-bullying programs in the schools is forced to look this kid in the eye.

Update: ABC News has a follow-up. Jonah Mowry, 14, had posted this video four months ago. His mother now confirms that her son has been “uplifted by the outpouring of support” since his video went viral over the weekend. He is also reportedly receiving counseling.

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sunshine.by
December 4th, 2011 | LINK

Indeed, a powerful video

Troy
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

Michele Bachmann is certainly someone who needs to see the video. She has constantly downplayed the effects of bullying and repeatedly claims that the glbt community doesn’t suffer discrimination and has the same rights as everyone else.

andrew
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

Screw the administrators. I hope every kid out there getting bullied sees that.

So many kids have been exactly there. And a lot them actually sat down and made deliberate choices that no one else knew about: stay or go.

Hope some more stay because of this.

Reed Boyer
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

I’ve seen the update video, snagged by someone else before it was removed, and he seems to be a completely obnoxious, gum-popping, slack-jawed teen, vastly amused by it all, sarcastic, and somewhat stupid.

In other words, “he’s a normal teen-aged boy.”

And if I’ve been punked, well, the message was a powerful one. From the time I first saw it (10,000 views) things have, indeed, gone viral – over 2-1/2 million views.

The message remains powerful, even if I’d like to slap the messenger.

TampaZeke
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

@Reed, I’d bet my eye teeth that more than a few people wanted to slap you when you were his age. In fact I’d bet ALL my teeth that more than a few people would like to slap you NOW; without you having the excuse of youth for being obnoxious.

SACnPhilly
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

For people interested in this issue there has been anti-bullying legislation proposed by Senator Robert Casey of PA, called the Safe Schools Improvement Act. It’s Senate Bill S.506 and there is a parallel bill in the House, H.R. 1648. It is very readable at:

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.112s506

Please ask your Congress Member to support this vital legislation. We can make a difference!

tristram
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

@TampaZeke – as affecting as this video is (I admit I teared up), someone should do a bit of vetting before we make Jonah THE cause celebre of the anti-bullying effort. I did not see the follow-up before it was pulled, but the original video, upon repeat viewing, should raise some questions in peoples’ minds.

Charles
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

Please, someone get this young man the help that he needs. Jim, please keep us all posted.

TampaZeke
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

@tristram, when exactly did I call for Jonah to be made the cause celebre of the anti-bullying effort? My point was that he is a teenage boy entering 8th grade; of course he’s obnoxious. Who wasn’t. It’s no reason to be obnoxious as an adult.

Ty
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

@Reed Boyer, The insults you sling at this obliviously troubled and bullied teen are disgusting! “he seems to be a completely obnoxious, gum-popping, slack-jawed teen, vastly amused by it all, sarcastic, and somewhat stupid.”

I saw a kid trying desperately to express a deeply emotional and honest look into his life. “Amused by it all” you say, I say a kid in pain, scared, alone, and holding on to his sanity and whats left of his pride and self-esteem with white knuckles.

What is wrong with you? I hope you don’t have children or people in your life to abuse when they need help! You suck, and not in a good way…

Charles
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

As one of the very few Republicans posting on Box Turtle, I will say that Michelle Bachmann is a disgrace, she needs to just fade away. Her position on gay issues is indefensible.

tristram
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

@TampaZeke – I said ‘we’, not ‘you,’ but I could have phrased that whole passage more clearly. It’s not you, but the “gay (and gay-friendly) blogosphere” that really is making Jonah a ’cause celebre.’ It’s the nature of the internet that these things go viral before anyone can check into any aspect of the background. I absolutely understand where all the sympathy and indignation is coming from. But maybe it’s time to ease off and get some background before Jonah becomes the poster boy for the anti-bullying movement.

One hopes that people have reached out to Jonah, his family, his teachers to determine what has been done to help him and what more can be done, and so we may learn more.

As I said, I have not seen the update (which Reed apparently has seen) because it was pulled, by Jonah himself according to YouTube. It might indeed reveal a different side to Jonah and his story.

Rachel
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

I saw the follow-up video and saw a boy who was touched and grateful for the supportive comments his video evoked.

I didn’t see anything obnoxious or sarcastic about him at all.

Priya Lynn
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Rachel, the “obnoxious and sarcastic” comments seemed highly unlikely to me.

Jerry
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

It’s way past time that someone starts telling this young man that he is fabulous. A wonderful human being who will do wonderful things with his life.

Charles
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

Ugh, I remember the summer of 1965 when I was sent off to a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina for six weeks. One guy in our cabin labeled me as being gay, before I really came to final conclusion that I was gay. It was six weeks of torment. I was a rising 9th grader. My life has never really been the same since.

StraightGrandmother
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

I saw the follow up video and I was happy for him. My impression is that both videos are true. If you go to Google news and type in his name ABC has a follow up story where they say where he lives, his dad works at a college in the music dept.

My thoughts are that friends of his saw the original first video and took action. We will never know, but I bet the school and teachers got involved and look, now 4 months later how happy he is, he says he has many friends and practically the whole school loves him. Oh sure in his follow up video he is smacking on some gum, so what he is a kid. I also read his twitter feeds from yesterday he was so happy to get the one from Lady GaGa and many others.

The ABC news article said he is getting counseling so you can be guaranteed that his parents went to the school also. It looks to me like the teachers and the school leadership stepped up. Of course because of privacy laws they will not say anything but I will bet that is what happened. I think both videos were/are true. Both are valid, and thank God folks for the second one.
His Twitter is his name and then the word REAL after it. I don’t do Twitter I read them on the internet somehow.

Tina Maria
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

JONAH MOWRY…. IS MY NEW MISSION!!! All it takes for me, is just ONE mention, of the thought of someone wanting to end it all. I lost my boyfriend to suicide February 28th 2011. Due to what I like to call… Economic Suicide. I have also lost a girlfriend of mine on November 25th 2010 due to, and yet another title I named.. Domestic Violence Suicide. And although I am a straight female living in Brooklyn, New York… IT DOESN’T MATTER!!! Suicide needs to be stopped. And these bullies need to come my way!! I’m one chic that would LOVE to give them a good old fashioned NY beatdown!! I WILL FIND YOU, JONAH!! Signed, Tina xo Your guardian angel. And NEW big sister. Seriously everyone.. AWARENESS NEEDS TO BE HEARD!! We need to all take a stand and spread the love against hate.

tristram
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

If you click the YouTube icon to watch the vid on YouTube itself, you can read Jonah’s extended update comment right beneath the vid. He explains his situation the night he made the video and what has happened since. It sounds like a lot of things that needed to happen for him have happened, and that he’s doing a lot better now.

Jim Burroway
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

Update: ABC News has a follow-up. Jonah Mowry, 14, had posted this video four months ago. His mother now confirms that her son has been “uplifted by the outpouring of support” since his video went viral over the weekend. He is also reportedly receiving counseling.

Charles
December 6th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks for the update from everyone.

Priya Lynn
December 6th, 2011 | LINK

Tina Maria, I’m so sorry to hear about your terrible loss, I hope things get better for you.

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