In September Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old gay teen, committed suicide in upstate New York after years of apparent bullying. This might have been a blip on the local news radar if it hadn’t caught the eye of Lady Gaga, who mourned Jamey’s death on Twitter and used the experience to promote her anti-bullying campaign.
It’s a sad fact, but without this kind of celebrity attention putting Williamsville North High School under the spotlight for its students’ cruelty, there would not have been an investigation launched into the kids who tormented Jamey.
After all, how often do police get called in to root out high school bullies? The official report concluded that at least five instances of bullying had occurred, and a student was suspended earlier this year after telling a friend that she was glad that Jamey was dead.
An internal investigation by the Williamsville Central School District also identified several of Jamey’s harassers and claim that the individuals will face “a minimum of suspensions.” Superintendent Scott Martzloff and the police have refused to identify how many students will be punished, or what their sentencing will be, but because of the young age of everyone involved, “expulsion is not an option.”
Do you think that suspension is a just punishment for Jamey’s bullies? Is there anything else schools can do after the fact to deal with young teens who have been accused of bullying? Should they face jail time, or is this just “kids being (mean) kids?” Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or via email.