Another kid doesn’t make it

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14 year old gives up after his own “It gets better” video.

In spite of the massive efforts recently to combat the often tragic results of bullying, 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life on Sept. 30, in Williamsville, New York. A student just starting at Williamsville North High School, Jayme had given every outward sign of being able to cope with the stress of being bullied. His friends report he was “upbeat and extroverted – he made friends with the friendless.” 

His mother, Tracy Rodemeyer, said “he was the kindest, sweetest kid you’d ever know. He would give all his heart to you before he gave any to himself.” Jayme had even made and posted his own “It Gets Better” video

And yet there were signs of trouble. On September 9, he posted online “I always say how bullied I am but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?” In the months before his suicide, his blog posts varied between upbeat entries about Lady Gaga and darker messages about school bullying and thoughts of suicide. On September 8, he posted lyrics from a song by the Hollywood Undead:

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“I just wanna say goodby, disappear with no one knowing,
I don’t wanna live this lie, smiling to the world unknowing,
I don’t want you to try, you’ve done enough to keep me going,
I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine for the very last time.”

Later he posted a lyric from Lady Gaga’s song “The Queen” – “Don’t forget me when I come crying to Heaven’s door.”

About 12 months ago, Jayme began to experience severe taunting from other students, especially on his online Formspring account (which permits anonymous posting.) One entry read “Jayme is stupid, gay, fat and ugly. He must die!” Another read “I wouldn’t care if you died. No one would. So just do it. It would make everyone WAY happier.”
Friends came to his defense against these and other derogatory posts. One friend wrote “don’t listen to the cowards on here Jayme.” Another posted “Jayme is amazing and it doesn’t matter if someone is gay or not. Everyone loves Jayme and if you don’t then you obviously didn’t take the time to get to know him.”

Jayme had supportive friends and an aware, pro-active family. His mother reports having talked with him many times about bullying. Jayme was seeing both a social worker and a therapist. The school has licensed school and clinical social workers on staff who meet with staff from feeder schools, asses incoming students and attempt to monitor those considered “at risk.” Williamsville North partnered with other districts to offer a depression and suicide awareness program. However, Principal Petrina Neureuter said “there are limits to what a school can do… The school can offer these services but we can’t force students to partake of them and we’re only one piece of the puzzle. It’s really a question of all of us working together.”

Jayme got an outpouring of support from friends and strangers after he “came out” on his It Gets Better video but somehow it wasn’t enough. The video ended with him talking about his torment at school and saying “love yourself and you’re set. I promise you it will get better.” Sadly for Jayme and for those who loved him. It did not.

 

14 year old gives up after his own “It gets better” video.

In spite of the massive efforts recently to combat the often tragic results of bullying, 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life on Sept. 30, in Williamsville, New York. A student just starting at Williamsville North High School, Jayme had given every outward sign of being able to cope with the stress of being bullied. His friends report he was “upbeat and extroverted – he made friends with the friendless.”