Bullying | News

Police Open Criminal Investigation in Bullying Suicide of Gay Teen Jamey Rodemeyer

A criminal investigation is being launched over the suicide of gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer, who took his own life over the weekend after what his parents said was years of bullying.

Rodemeyer ABC News reports:

The Amherst Police Department's Special Victims Unit has said it will determine whether to charge some students with harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes. Police said three students in particular might have been involved. Jamey was a student at Heim Middle School.

Jamey had just started his freshman year at Williamsville North High School. (Both Amherst and Williamsville are just outside Buffalo.) But the bullying had begun during middle school, according to his parents. He had told family and friends that he had endured hateful comments in school and online, mostly related to his sexual orientation.

Jamey was found dead outside his home Sunday morning, but Amherst police would not release any details on how he killed himself.

The Buffalo News adds:

"We're going to look into whether he was the victim of any crimes leading up to his suicide," Police Chief John C. Askey said.

"We're not indicating, not speculating at this point, that that is the cause of his death, ... but independently, there may have been crimes that have been committed against him."

Askey said he spoke Wednesday with Williamsville School Superintendent Scott G. Martzloff, who has pledged the district's cooperation.

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  1. FYI the trolls named LisaG and Rick are the same "person"

    Posted by: Glisa Rickman | Sep 22, 2011 5:41:12 PM

  2. @ Rick,

    There's nothing wrong at all with the police department investigating potential criminal action. I'm all for giving kids positive role models and encouraging them to fight back in any way that's available to them. But when police departments investigate potential crimes, please don't ask them to play favorites based on their approval or disapproval of masculine/feminine behavior. That would be illegal and any jurisdiction could rightfully be sued. Harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes are illegal in almost any Western democracy. We are a nation ruled by laws, not individual men.

    I agree with you to the extent that I think it's self-destructive for some gay men to surrender agency and decision-making to women. I disagree with you to the extent that I think your discomfort over behavior that is not stereotypically masculine is misplaced. That misplaced discomfort also has the side effect of making people think that you're just striking poses, and so they take you less seriously. I think that's unfortunate because I agree with your central insight: some gay men hand authority over to women because they feel that they're required to, which I think is internalized homophobia. Do you think that's a better focus?

    Posted by: Artie | Sep 22, 2011 10:09:50 PM

  3. I tried writing a forward to what I want to say about how I grew up there and had similar experiences etc. etc. but what I really want to say is that I cried when I read about this. Buffalo has a large and open gay community with many outlets to get support. It also has many schools and charter schools that you can send your kid to. When I grew up I kept the bullying I received about "hanging out with all girls and eating at the girls lunch table etc etc to myself, but this kid was reaching out for help through so many outlets and his parents were fully aware of the bullying he was receiving. WHY DIDN'T they do anything. I'm sorry to say that as someone that was bullied and bullied others it's kind of part of growing up, there's always going to be a pecking order, people are always going to be wary about things they don't understand especially when they're kids, you don't really realize what you're doing to someone. I don't think it's fair to treat the kids that bully as criminals, they do it as a response of how they're raised and taught by the adults they're around. This has just really upset me as when I read that the parents blame this on years of bullying I want to know why they didn't change things.

    Posted by: NHbrooklyn | Sep 22, 2011 11:27:00 PM

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