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Student Suspended for Jeering Jamey Rodemeyer's Sister: VIDEO

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This week, a group of students at a homecoming dance allegedly jeered the sister of Jamey Rodemeyer. They screamed at her, "We're glad he's dead."

Now the Buffalo school's superintendent has suspended one student over the "incident." Which is progress. But there were reportedly several students jeering. What will happen to them?

And a broader question: when is anti-gay bullying going to show up on the Republican Party's radar? Hundreds, maybe thousands of LGBT schoolchildren face daily savagery straight out of Lord of the Flies - while the conservative establishment remains dead-silent. Bachmann, for instance, has failed to sign a petition against homophobic bullying, even as the Justice Department targets the school district in her congressional zone for laxity on bullying.

The silence isn't uniform. In Albany, State Sen. Stephen M. Saland, a Republican, is sponsoring an anti-bullying bill. But, by and large, the party's national leadership has nothing to say about the pervasive harassment of LGBT children. Why?

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Comments

  1. I don't see the Democrats doing much about anti-gay bullying, either. Frankly, both Republicans and Democrats have been disappointing on this.

    Posted by: bruce | Oct 1, 2011 10:19:13 AM


  2. Why? Have you seen a Tea Party rally ? Bullying is their favorite tactic. It is who they are. Recall how they spit on black legislators during the health care debacle? How they broke windows and put bullets through the doors of Democratic legislators? And these were the adults.Bruce, if you can't see a difference between Dems and Rethugs, you aren't looking.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 1, 2011 10:52:46 AM


  3. There are approximately 79.1 million children in the public school system each year. The government works on statistics.

    For example, the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reaction System) monitors how many adverse events occur per vaccine lot. Once a particular # hits, they pull it. They don't pull it prior to because the larger numbers make it scientifically unreasonable to waste that many vaccines because a few children get sick from it.

    Vaccines are by and large safe for millions of children, but there are children with "vaccine sensitivity"--they are the few that win the court cases.

    Will they, should they make changes to the vaccine program that millions are able to live with to support the few that were harmed?

    Most would say "no" because it is not cost efficient.

    Bullying affects more than just gay kids, but it is not in such numbers that someone wants to allocate funds when by and large most schools don't get to the point where kids are hanging themselves, killing each other, etc.

    79.1 million kids and maybe 5-6 deaths a year? That's less than those children that die from vaccines.

    So what do they do? Create a BS bill that makes is a juvenile offense? Okay, but it becomes subjective then...someone might take offense to "fat" someone else might not. Someone may feel that "pizza face" is cruel, others might not.

    I think there are better and more efficient (and fair) ways of handling it, but it requires people who SAY they care about bullying to do something instead of passing it off to a politician to make a mess of it.

    Create an anonymous Report a Bully website that reports an incident that then sets off a call tree to the school and school board so that they are made aware that this is going on in the school and the principal and administration is not doing anything.

    Create funds to litigate.

    When someone's job is accountable and forfeit for allowing it to get too far...it will stop.

    It's like No Child Left Behind...it sounded good on paper, but it punished the schools that WERE doing fine by adding all of these hoops they had to jump through.

    There are thousands upon thousands of schools that are addressing the issue and have it under control. To create universal legislation will just get screwed up like it always does and those schools will be punished.

    If we all care about bullying, then it is up to us as caring humans to be active in our community and do something about it instead of leaving it up to legislators who always screw everything up.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 1, 2011 11:08:15 AM


  4. Imagine having your kid suspended for jeering someone's brother's suicide? The parents would either be mortified or would be defiant and in support of it. The idea that they are probably in support of what their child said makes my blood run cold.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Oct 1, 2011 11:14:08 AM


  5. Principals need to be held accountable for their school. Period. They need to suspend kids, call parents in, etc.

    This stuff goes on because they use the tactic of self-esteem building over punitive measures in many of these schools.

    For example, the Lawrence King case...instead of them counseling him to dress up and turn the tables, they should have just suspended the kids that were bothering him. Suspend them enough times and they are expelled.

    Had they done that...he would still be alive.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 1, 2011 11:30:23 AM


  6. I think that M. Bachmann doesn't want to stop bullying in the Anoka-Hennepin school district because she hopes that the bullying will drive more gay students over to her husband's 'reparative' clinic. Remember Repugs' first directive is greed.

    Posted by: chuck | Oct 1, 2011 11:33:42 AM


  7. I have held back with this comment because I know it is not “politically correct” and I will automatically be called a racist (so far from the truth). But PLEASE read my full comment before sending me negative messages. First this story is awful. But lets look at it from another angle. What if this story was about a black child that was bullied and repeatedly had racial slurs yelled at him in the presence of school officials and teachers and it was allowed or blown off? What if that child killed himself because of the bullying? What if the child’s brother/sister at a school event was bullied and yelled at with racial slurs and comments that they were glad that their loved one was dead? Actually it would have stopped at the first question of the first bulling. The child that said the racial slurs would have been suspended/face legal charges and if it was not quick enough or to the satisfaction of black rights leaders it would be a major news story and so on. Is that right? ABSOLUTELY! Why? Because behavior like that should be considered HATE SPEECH and never tolerated especially in a school setting where all children should feel safe because they are there to LEARN! I am a 35yo gay man and when I was in high school I was repeatedly called a faggot and more in front if teachers, administrators, and even the principal and during the four years of high school not one of the bullies were even told to stop. It was totally aloud. What made me think of the above comparison was a scenario at my school when a white schoolmate called a black schoolmate the “N” word. The teacher stood up yelled at the top of his lungs and pulled him out of class to the principle’s office. He was suspended among other punishments. When the teacher returned and the class resumed I answered a question incorrectly and a schoolmate yelled out “stupid faggot”. What did the teacher do? HE LAUGHED! It is 2011 and because of ignorant people that hide behind “religious beliefs” the LGBT community does not get the same protection against hate speech. This has to change. I am tired of paying taxes and not having any rights. My money is good but my life isn’t worth protecting or as valuable as a straight person’s and they wonder why gay kids today can’t take it and kill themselves. They are bullied and nothing happens, they look to the news and see they have few to no rights, they are allowed to experience violent hate speech from “religious” groups and nothing happens. Even Obama’s gay marriage support has changed to “evolving”. But don’t worry he is fully accepting gay votes and gay campaign contributions. Sorry but my gay vote and gay money is “evolving” at the moment.

    Posted by: HJoseph | Oct 1, 2011 12:34:29 PM


  8. Such amazing, thought-provoking comments (I'm looking at YOU, RIN &HJOESEPH). I just wonder about suspension as punishment. Kid gets to be home, probably gets to spend his time on the computer, playing games, watching TV, etc. This sucks just exactly how?

    Posted by: TJ | Oct 1, 2011 12:59:55 PM


  9. "when is anti-gay bullying going to show up on the Republican Party's radar".......How about never. Did you hear the boos during the republican debat?

    Posted by: Hmmmmm... | Oct 1, 2011 1:03:27 PM


  10. Wow. How sad & sick in so many ways. Heartbreaking

    Posted by: cheekiey | Oct 1, 2011 1:57:12 PM


  11. What are the repercussions of this heinous behavior? A slap on the wrist and time to watch TV at home? I think the superintendent is wimp.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 1, 2011 2:00:13 PM


  12. "And a broader question: when is anti-gay bullying going to show up on the Republican Party’s radar?" I'll tell you when: When a bullied gay student brings a pistol to school and splatters the brains of his tormenter across the walls. That's when the Republicans will suddenly, finally take interest--to decry the actions of the bullying victim, to demand justice for the tormenter, and to deny that their own villification of gay people and tacit approval of bullying in schools had anything to do with the "tragedy."

    Posted by: John Equality | Oct 1, 2011 3:32:28 PM


  13. We're punishing people for using words against other people and I can't help but feel that this is the beginning of a very, very slippery slope. Should students get away with this behavior? I don't think it's about "getting away"...

    Two incidents come to mind: the time I was told by another student who had previously assaulted me that they would "beat my ass until I talked 'straight'" (along with being told that they would make me 'bite the curb' and to make sure I wasn't alone outside of school or else), and the time when another student called a classmate a n*gger (too ugly a word to type) on the bus.

    In both instances, the offending parties were suspended for a few days, but what changed? Nothing. They didn't learn anything, except they couldn't say certain things, no matter how much they believe what they were saying was justifiable, without getting suspended and ended up resenting faculty and my friend and I because of it. Even their friends hounded us because of it, and in both cases the suspension was cut short. Is this justice? Is this the right reaction? It's not, in my opinion.

    Suspension is the easy way out. Working to make a lasting change and educating? That takes effort.

    Posted by: Jesus | Oct 1, 2011 3:40:57 PM


  14. I would hope that by now the school would have identified more than just one heckler. These kids are monsters and so are their parents for raising them to be that way. They should all be EXPELLED, not given a week of vacation!

    Posted by: shle896 | Oct 1, 2011 6:49:56 PM



  15. That superintendent is a TEXT-BOOK tool and dufus. Who did he blow to get that job?

    Maybe I'm too cynical, but now you're going to see 'concerned' citizens coming [pardon the expression] out of the closet. How many are really concerned about their towns and it's school's reputation, with it's corresponding effect on property values?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 1, 2011 7:15:13 PM


  16. What kind of animal tells someone they're glad your brother is dead?! I wondered if his suicide would at least be a reality check for his bullies but I guess not.

    Posted by: daws | Oct 1, 2011 7:19:19 PM


  17. @TJ,

    I just...think that we're lazy in the US. All of us who are enraged by bullying should be doing something proactive, not wait for legislators to do something that will just be either overkill or end up constraining school systems already constrained.

    What is so terrible about a grassroots movement that acts like a neighborhood watch for the schools?

    I have been thinking about creating a website where kids can report bullying in their district anonymously and then a "call tree" goes out to inform the school that the school is being "watched" and forcing them to reply as to what they are going to do about it.

    In almost every case where someone ended up dead the bullying went on for an exorbitant period of time--enough time for the administration to correct it. The school teachers, administrators, and principals are the adults. They should be handling the situation and if they can't, then the school board needs to be aware that their classrooms are out of control.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 1, 2011 7:41:42 PM


  18. RIN - Yep, there are adults present, and they should act as such. I had the opportunity to be an aide in a 3rd grade class. One of the students, for religious reasons (Jehova's Witness?), did not participate in any celebrations of holidays. Alternative activities were provided, which sometimes meant that she went to another classroom. The teacher always used this as an opportunity to teach the class that some people are different, and different is okay. The child had plenty of friends. I never observed any teasing. The kids took their cue from the adult.

    Way back in the day, when I was in 6th grade, a girl who was routinely bullied entered the classroom. Some kids made some comments. The (much-beloved and respected) teacher lit on those kids like a duck on a june bug: "Who the HELL (yes, in the late 60's, she swore! In class!) do you think you are! What makes you think you are better than this girl!" and so on. It was an electric moment for all of the kids in the class. I never saw her bullied (at least, by those kids) again.

    It is up to the adults, in the moment, to make a difference. I agree that legislating might pass the buck, but it could also provide the justification to speak up - "citizen's arrest" if you will.

    Posted by: TJ | Oct 2, 2011 1:41:55 PM


  19. @ HJoseph ... I feel your pain and hope you have been able to move beyond those horrible experiences in H.S. We have an obligation to help those still going thru such hell. Let's hope we can make every school safe and eliminate bullying within this decade.

    @Rin - Great idea about a "report of bullying" website. Please post the URL. We need to act.

    Posted by: TruthSeeker_Too | Oct 2, 2011 5:04:12 PM


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