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NY Teen Commits Suicide After Anti-Gay Facebook Bullying

Kameron Jacobsen, 14, of Monroe Woodbury High School took his own life this week, and many are pointing to anti-gay taunting as the catalyst. To compound the school's grief, another student a junior on the football team, took his own life less than two weeks ago. 

MyFOX NY reportsJacobsen

Sources said that Kameron Jacobsen of Monroe Woodbury High School was tormented by Facebook bullies who taunted him about what they thought was his sexual orientation.

His fellow students and parents are devastated. 

Facebook issued a statement about the incidents: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of these students, and our hearts go out to their family and friends. These cases serve as a painful reminder of how people can help others who are either bullied or show signs of distress on Facebook. We encourage them to notify us, and we work with third party support groups including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to reach out to people who may need help. Our Safety Center also contains resources on how to help people who are in danger of harming themselves. These deaths are a loss to many, and it's critical that we all work together to give hope to teens who may be feeling similarly."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Sources: Teenager Kills Himself After Facebook Taunts: MyFoxNY.com

 

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Comments

  1. Alright...this is really,really,really sad. How do the punks sleep and live with themselves knowing they pushed him over the edge? Kameron's family and friends will never get over his death. No one ever gets over the suicide of a loved one. I have experience with a suicide in my family and not a day goes by when I don't think about him or see him in other people, frozen at the age he died. The time of year and especially the date always leaves me tense, depressed and melancholy. Even 15 years later I still will wake up in the early AM and my first thought is him.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 21, 2011 9:18:15 AM


  2. Here we go again. We're on the brink of another rash of suicides.

    We have to find the fine balance between publicizing these events and raising awareness of the problem. The way it's being done now it seems to be having very little positive effect on policy and practice but a devastating copy cat effect.

    I would encourage Andy and all bloggers to follow the advice of mental health professionals and stop publicizing details of these tragedies. Professionals say that the more detailed the reports the more likely they are to elicit copy cats.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jan 21, 2011 9:31:27 AM


  3. "Mental health professionals" should do their job, not shut people up. Healthy, well-adjusted people don't kill themselves - regardless of reporting. The so-called "copy cat effect" may be just a temporary fluctuation. In other words, the so-called "copy cats" were going to kill themselves anyway. They just did it a little earlier.

    Posted by: Eugene | Jan 21, 2011 9:48:18 AM


  4. "Healthy, well-adjusted people don't kill themselves - regardless of reporting."

    Yes, Eugene, but unfortunately some folks who seem to fit the above description sometimes kill other people. Some of our most brilliant, compassionate and sensitive human beings have ended their lives in suicide, Eugene.

    No, I (and most of you all) don't understand how people could get such pleasure or satisfaction from such cruelty--enjoying watching vulnerable people's suffering and destruction. I guess they are the same kind of people who could torture a little child and laugh about it.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 21, 2011 10:05:42 AM


  5. What everyone must realize is that such sucides weren't discussed at all in the past. It's important that we know about them, the better to do what we can to prevent future suicides -- and stop bullying.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 21, 2011 10:55:54 AM


  6. These suicidal teens appear to be participating in a Darwinian exercise in survival of the fittest, only in this case “fitness” is their level of self esteem. In nature, an organism isn’t viable if it can’t compete for a constrained resource (typically food and fertile mates) and fails to pass its genes along to the next generation. In these cases, though, a gay boy isn’t popular and opts-out of participating in the future, but sad fact #1 is there was no constrained resource. You can make all the self-esteem you want or need; it isn’t rationed by Facebook (contrary to Accepted Truth among today’s young).

    Sad fact #2 is that all of society --- and our community in particular --- loses what these individuals had to offer in our shared future, even if they were once “unpopular”. The solution, though also sad, is that they need to man-up and stick around for the future. If you're socially fragile then cancel the Facebook account and get rid of those precious mobile gadgets you can't live without, and stop watching those goofy teen/vampire shows (with 30-year-olds playing the teens) on television. Then you get to create your own life.

    The popular boys from my high school class now all look like Rush Limbaugh after an Oxycontin overdose and the girls are giant heifers devoid of femininity or any other redeeming qualities; none of them are particularly bright and all are on their second or third unhappy marriages. I delight in recalling how unpopular I was so that I didn’t turn-out like them.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Jan 21, 2011 11:23:22 AM


  7. Not gonna get many friends with this comment but all those gays who commit suicide cause they were bullied are cowards. I was bullied in high school. I'm STILL bullied and I'm 25 years old. Yes I get sad but seriously. Its pathetic that people who kill themselves cause they can't handle it get the press. What about people who get bullied most days of their lives? I know countless people who get bullied every day but hey still hold their heads high. The media needs to stop making this a giant sob story for all the gays who take the cowards way out.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 21, 2011 2:00:54 PM


  8. And this is how the local paper The Times Herald Record reported this incident:
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110120/NEWS/101200320/-1/NEWS14

    Posted by: christopher | Jan 21, 2011 2:48:56 PM


  9. Stephen,

    I admire anyone who goes through whatever hardships without letting them get him down, but assuming everyone else would have the same way of processing their world is a pretty you-centric way of looking at things. It's very possible that if you were naturally wired different or more susceptible to depression, you'd have committed suicide too.

    You're right, the kind of mentality that leads to suicide shouldn't be coddled or pitied, but it does deserve attention and help.

    Posted by: rafi | Jan 21, 2011 3:04:41 PM


  10. Quick! Find another celebrity or politician to make a meaningless video! We owe it to our gay youth!

    Posted by: Lonnie | Jan 21, 2011 3:25:28 PM


  11. Stephen: If you want press for being bullied, contact a media outlet. Like they say, the squeakiest wheel gets the oil.

    On a side note, why are you being bullied? Have you stood up for yourself or spoken to anyone to get help in the situation?

    Posted by: B | Jan 22, 2011 1:44:53 AM


  12. Just another reason to have Gay/ Straight Alliance support groups available in big and small town America.

    Posted by: jerry pritikin | Jan 22, 2011 8:08:38 AM


  13. Gee,Eugene, your "compassion" is overwhelming. Your cruelty and insensitivity, much more so.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 22, 2011 1:43:28 PM


  14. Really, Jamal? Have another drink, sport...

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 22, 2011 2:08:08 PM


  15. I am through with this. SERIOUSLY! Why do we need the details of every single one of these suicides? Suicide, whether gay/straight/bullied/non-bullied is flat out GIVING UP. These young people are NOT martyrs, they are mentally ill. I think all of this coverage may very well create some sort of copycat BS. STOP ALREADY!!

    Posted by: AJ | Jan 22, 2011 3:32:21 PM


  16. @AJ: coverage doesn't create models. It highlights the problems of kids who have or are considering offing themselves. In so doing, it will hopefully help mitigate their desperation. A depressed child doesn't need guidance to advance suicidal tendencies, and sweeping it under the rug is a really crappy idea.

    Emotionally screwed-up kids need support, and increasing coverage of their penchant for suicide doesn't just reach them: it also hits older people (parents, teachers, counselors, etc.) who can recognize and hopefully impede their self-destructive efforts. The recent attention is simply shining light on an issue that's been occurring for decades, but when families were too ashamed to admit that their dead kids were gay. It's not fair to brand these children as mentally ill; in most cases they're just abused and feel horribly isolated.

    One of my main tormentors in high school was an obvious closet case with an abusive father. I despised him but I didn't want him to kill himself. But he did, as did several three other kids, all within months of each other, because the school refused to address the subject---worried about inciting copycats. Once the approach changed, the suicides ended.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 22, 2011 11:56:47 PM


  17. As a person who works with LGBT youth, for those out there calling people cowards who are contemplating suicide or have committed suicide I wish you would please understand just how selfish your comments are. People in these situations read those kinds of post and feel even worse about themselves. I am sorry you too had a hard life, but that gives you no right to pick apart the troubles of others simply because you "survived" and they did not or cannot any longer.

    These comments are reasons why we need to start introducing children to sociology, and other social sciences at younger ages so they can get out of this mindset of Me, My, I and start looking at the broader picture into what contributes to these suicides (even know most of us might already know the many causes).

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 8, 2011 10:51:08 PM


  18. gay

    Posted by: pppp | Sep 13, 2012 3:51:32 PM


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