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JUSTICE FOR JERKS

Jamey Rodemeyer’s Bullies Are Happy He’s Dead, But Is It A Bad Idea To Prosecute Them?

This past weekend, the sister of 14-year-old suicide victim Jamey Rodemeyer went to a school dance to take her mind off of her brother’s death and hang out with all of her friends. “Then,” says Jamey’s mother Tracy, “all of sudden a Lady Gaga song came on and they all started chanting for Jamey, all his friends and whatever. Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting ‘You’re better off dead, we’re glad you’re dead.'”

They sound heartless, but is pressing criminal charges against them actually a bad idea?

Today the Gay Straight Alliance network’s Make It Better Project warned against early attempts to criminalize bullying nationwide:

Criminalizing bullying is not the answer. There are proven, positive ways – from starting and supporting Gay-Straight Alliance clubs (GSAs) to intervening when slurs occur – to Make It Better. It’s important now more than ever to stick to these concrete steps, and not turn to punitive, reactionary measures that cause more harm than good.

Horrible though they are, Rodemeyer’s bullies are also stupid teenagers who probably don’t entirely understand the gravitas of their actions. While some of their bullying could even rise to the level of criminal harassment, criminalizing bullying overall could result in over-reaching laws that punish any student who “causes emotional harm” or “creates a hostile environment”—two vague, subjective criteria that could well qualify any online insult or cafeteria put down as a criminal offense.

Also, anti-bullying laws that allow bullied kids to sue their tormentors and do-nothing school administrators could backfire. What if a bullying law allowed Lawrence King’s killer Brandon McInerney to turn around and sue his school for not doing more to protect him from King’s “sexual advances”? What if anti-gay bullies regularly used the law to attack LGBT-friendly teachers who “bully” religious students for speaking out against gays?

But John Aravosis from AmericaBlog disagrees with the Make It Better Project and says that GSAs aren’t enough:

Pushing for more GSA’s is all well and good. But part of the problem is that in some states there are no laws covering bullying, like the state in which 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer was bullied and recently killed himself as a result. It’s all well and good to have GSAs at the school, but if my kid (had I a kid) is being repeatedly taunted by other kids telling him to kill himself, I want more than a GSA to turn to, especially if the school district isn’t doing enough to help. I want the law.

Currently, only 14 states explicitly protect students from bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would go a long way towards protecting bullied students in the 36 other states, primarily by requiring teacher training, anti-bullying materials in schools, and quicker and consistent handling of bullying cases by school administrators and police.

In a school of stupid, heartless kids, it’s really up to the administrators to use pre-existing conduct codes to discipline bullies and then report criminal activity to police if further action needs to be taken. Levying harsher penalties against bullies may seem like a worthwhile detterent, but it’s meaningless if the bullying itself is still not being reported and dealt with by those who know better.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Sep 27, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 58 Comments
    • Dave
      Dave

      Fuck these bullies, I think that they should be criminally prosecuted.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      Fuck these bullies, I think they should be dead.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChrisC
      ChrisC

      I have zero compassion for the bullies. Teenagers today know so much more than they did 50 years ago…even 10 years ago. With all bullying and crimes against LGBT people being broadcasted over The TV, Radio and posted on to The Internet…there is no reason they shouldn’t know that what they are doing could potentially cause life-changing, life-shattering and even life threatening results. Blaming the victim in cases of bullying exactly like like blaming the victim in cases of Rape and Sexual Assault. Teenagers know that if they commit crimes such as breaking and entering, theft and murder – they will be punished. This will just have to be one of those things that within time, they will know not to do, because if they do it, THEY WILL BE PUNISHED.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hephaestion
      Hephaestion

      I don’t think we need more laws. We need to get to the bottom of the problem – homophobia – and we need to get schools to simply enforce the laws they already have – because they DON’T. The school Jamey went to was ahead of most of the USA in handling anti-gay bullies but it did no good. We need to encourage kids to obliterate any kid who would dare bully a gay kid. If we don’t get the kids themselves to do this, nothing will ever change. The KIDS must be changed, not the laws.

      And as for those bastards chanting “We’re glad you’re dead, Jamey”… Why did no one beat the fuck out of those kids on the spot? The teachers and students present there should have pulverized those kids immediately. That needs to be the routine response to hate.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Liberalism has resulted in an increase in anti-gay bullying. Liberalism is about permissiveness. It gives permission for people to act in ways that are vile.

      Also, you won’t achieve anything by complaining on the net. Unless you get boots on the ground and protest outside of the school, you won’t achieve anything.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting ‘You’re better off dead, we’re glad you’re dead.’”

      Does this really surprise anyone? With the way the world is going today and how many people are desensitized by violence hate and terms that are used in many peoples vernacular nowadays its not surprising in the least.

      Not to mention these children if you can even call them that much less human beings are SOCIOPATHS they have no conscience nor heart nor do they care what they say how they say it or how it profoundly and ultimately affects the person they say it to.These kids once again if you can even call them that get off on hurting people both online and offline its like a drug for these people they love to make people feel as miserable as they do about themselves and they love to torture and terrorize people until they reach their breaking point.

      Ive ran into some of the most despicable vile people known to man on Youtube including many CHRISTIANS who laugh when people commit suicide especially if they were gay they are like thats one less fag in this world .So while it sickens me and angers me to my core NONE of this has ever surprised me this kind of hate ignorance stupidity and rage has been around for too many years to count.

      Schools are not doing enough nor are these nasty vile little bullies parents.Theres a simple answer to that too despite whether they have problems at home : alcoholism sexual abuse physical or mental abuse etc…. The fact remains that in most cases it is not just the bullies fault…. it is the schools the teachers the faculty the students that stood idly by and did NOTHING when they saw them being bullied and most of all THE PARENTS OF THE BULLIES THEMSELVES.

      They conditioned and raised their children to be this way so they should NEVER feign shock or surprise when nasty creatons like their children cause horrendous and heartless tragedies such as Jameys. These bullies need to be held accountable for their actions they DO need to be punished and yes in all honesty they deserve to be in jail.The bullying these kids do ARE criminal and by that I mean normally these kind of people and their kind of bullying almost always lead to the suicide of the person they are bullying so much.THAT should be a crime in and of itself these kids are intentionally trying to drive an innocent child or an innocent teenager to take their own life.If thats not a criminal offense then it SHOULD BE. These teens should not feel like they will just get a slap on their wrist so they can live the rest of their lives happy that they caused others to grieve THEIR children all because of THEIR stupid immature heartless actions.

      They should be prosecuted scared straight even no pun intended. They used to have a program where kids were scared straight by criminals in jail. These kids need a hell of a lot more then tough love…. they need to see what they are doing realize what it causes in the end ultimately and actually give a damn about their actions.Sensitivity training is an option but lets face it these people do not want to be helped the only way they are gonna change is if they LET THEMSELVES CHANGE period.

      The bullies deserve no sympathy because no matter what they go through it doesnt give them the right to take their anger their rage or their sadness out on others to the point to where they drive them to commit suicide.They do not deserve one iota of sympathy but they do need serious psychological help in more ways then one.For anyone to hate as much as these people do is disgusting and out of control. The bullies parents can’t blame anyone but their children and themselves they could prevent things like this if they raised their kids to be civilized compassionate loving decent human beings and that is a fact.It all starts at home …its up to the parent more then anyone how their child turns out either good …. or rotten to the core like these kids are nowadays.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ToptoBottomNYC
      ToptoBottomNYC

      It doesn’t matter what the law may be. Allowing these kids to shout “We’re glad you’re dead” about a kid they drove to suicide is absolutely unacceptable in every way. How can they possibly feel no remorse? Why haven’t they been locked away already?

      Sep 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @ToptoBottomNYC:

      Exactly and see as I said people that act that way and think that way and say things like that are true sociopaths.No getting around it only someone with a lack of conscience and the ability to discern between right and wrong would ever say something like that.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      “””Criminalizing bullying is not the answer. There are proven, positive ways – from starting and supporting Gay-Straight Alliance clubs (GSAs) to intervening when slurs occur – to Make It Better.”””
      _______________________________________

      Oh GIVE ME A BREAK! Can we stop all the hand wringing any time any bigot MIGHT get in trouble?

      These are the same type of idiots who said…

      1. Don’t file lawsuits for gay rights, we don’t want to upset people.

      2. Bullies will stop bullying if you just walk away and ignore them

      3. Do not pressure Congress to pass gay rights, it might upset our “Friends”.

      What these touchy feely idiots don’t understand is that starting a few gay straight clubs may be nice, but it’s not going to stop kids from being tormented.

      We have societal acceptance of interracial marriage now, and yet in the year 2000 nearly 40% of the state did not vote to remove an invalid anti-interacial law off the books. Recently a poll was taken of GOP voters in Mississippi and 56% still don’t think blacks and white’s should marry.

      So again, all the hand holding is nice, but sometimes tolerance MUST be legislated. We’re not asking them to love us.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mk_Ultra_Again
      Mk_Ultra_Again

      You know America has the highest rate of serial killers in the world? Maybe it’s because there is always a willingness to mischaracterize sociopathic behavior as “freedom of speech, a different opinion” or other buzzwords. The truth is that these people are not like the rest of us. They are selfish, violent, greedy self serving narcissists whose behavior has a very massive negative effect on society. This ruins people’s lives, it costs people their lives. GSA are a start. But there definitely needs to be punishment for bullying, more commonly know as harassment. In real life you can face legal repercussions for it. Isn’t school preparation for real life?

      Sep 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      I can’t make up my mind on this one. Obviously I think the bullies in this case are a bunch of rats, and I’d love to see them prosecuted, but I’ve been seeing online bullies for as long as the internet has been around. Gay ones and straight ones. By prosecuting these bullies do we open up a whole can of worms? Can anyone who commits suicide have a family who now seeks prosecution against the last person who said something “mean” to the victim? There’s a lot to debate here.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Mk_Ultra_Again:

      Absolutely true. I have to wonder why it seems like some in this community are coming not really to the defense of bullies persay.But more worried about how it will impact freedom of speech if these bullies are punished for their devious deeds behaviors and actions.

      These bullies deserve absolutely no leeway no loopholes and no sympathy for their actions.To those who are more concerned about how freedom of speech will be impacted if these bullies are prosecuted for their criminal and hateful behavior.Ask yourselves this question.Did these bullies care about how much they hurt people like Jamey? Nope they clearly said these things out of no thought no care no love and with nothing but malicious intent. Did these bullies care when Jamey took his life? Absolutely not even as going so far as to say in front of his own grieving sister that he deserved to die and they were glad he was dead.These delinquents are indeed sociopaths and should pay the penalty for their crimes… against humanity for the way they are period and their crimes against innocent souls like Jamey who deserved to live… unlike them.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @jason:

      Dumbest thing I’ve read all day. Congratulations.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • oldgayvermonter
      oldgayvermonter

      Just curious to know what the supervisors or chaperones of this dance did when the chanting was going on? I mean actually know, not ranting from an absence of actual knowledge. Is anyone here able to comment with authority? Same question about school admins taking any action on this bullying? Just the facts please!

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Snyder
      Mark Snyder

      Jails and our prison system have never and never will solve societal problems. Prisons and jails turn youth into criminals later in life. We have the data to prove it – no opinions necessary.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • velocifero
      velocifero

      In the real adult world, when you go to work at a corporation or anywhere, you’re free speech rights end at the entrance of the workplace. You don’t have the right to harass, threaten or intimidate a co-worker and its a federal crime to do so. What should it not be any different in a public school? Seems to me when a child, teacher and parent enter the school, they should be under the same federal protections. Especially in a situation where your tax dollars are being used to build and fund the school. A school is a place for learning, period. IMO any behavior that goes outside the job the student has to learn and the teacher to instruct should be under scrutiny and liable to punishment. We have a zero policy of harassment, intimidation and violence in the workplace because the employer can be sued by the employee or prosecuted by the state. And that means their insurance goes up and a whole other list of consequences. Why adults can separate the two realities is lost on me. So there need to be laws and regulations in place that both students, teachers and parents need to heed. When a student enters each grade, the student, teacher and parent need to go through an orientation that says, you bully, intimate or harass a student, and here are the consequences to you as the student, you as the parent and the school’s liability. If you start holding parents to criminal fines for their kids behavior, and schools liable for turning a blind eye, you’ll see the problem go away. But conservative will cry that this is “censorship” and liberals cry that you can’t punish the poor parent or over worked teacher and that we need “tolerance”. Sorry folks, that’s not the real world. Even in the military now.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • velocifero
      velocifero [Different person #1 using similar name]

      In the real adult world, when you go to work at a corporation or anywhere, you’re free speech rights end at the entrance of the workplace. You don’t have the right to harass, threaten or intimidate a co-worker and its a federal crime to do so. What should it not be any different in a public school? Seems to me when a child, teacher and parent enter the school, they should be under the same federal protections. Especially in a situation where your tax dollars are being used to build and fund the school. A school is a place for learning, period. IMO any behavior that goes outside the job the student has to learn and the teacher to instruct should be under scrutiny and liable to punishment. We have a zero policy of harassment, intimidation and violence in the workplace because the employer can be sued by the employee or prosecuted by the state. And that means their insurance goes up and a whole other list of consequences. Why adults can separate the two realities is lost on me. So there need to be laws and regulations in place that both students, teachers and parents need to heed. When a student enters each grade, the student, teacher and parent need to go through an orientation that says, you bully, intimate or harass a student, and here are the consequences to you as the student, you as the parent and the school’s liability. If you start holding parents to criminal fines for their kids behavior, and schools liable for turning a blind eye, you’ll see the problem go away. But conservative will cry that this is “censorship” and liberals cry that you can’t punish the poor parent or over worked teacher and that we need “tolerance”. No we need the laws that set the parameters in our public schools for what is acceptable behavior. If you don’t like those laws, then send you kid to a private or charter school.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • George m
      George m

      Jason, do you protest?
      Tell us how you would fix it the republican way. Do you think the republicans overall dislike for the gays helps or hurts these kids? Being real Jason tell us how to fix it from the right. Are you the same Jason on towelroad that speaks from the right? I email you there to if its you, never get anything back. There was a Jason there who said hes never seen the buggy man of gay bigotry, didnt really know if it was real or made up.
      Really tho how would you fix it?

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FreddyMertz
      FreddyMertz

      Aren’t they or have they not started prosecution of the bullies who drove Phoebe Prince to commit suicide? What’s the difference?..I say tell the DA to get out the arrest warrant pad and get to work!

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • beergoggles
      beergoggles

      Did any of you see Rachel Maddow’s story about this (http://www.vochoice.org/) group? Basically some guy got tired of being bullies by xtians against abortion stalking and protesting him and decided to publicize them and start a program to get people to call these bullies up.

      This is what we need to do with these bullies. Post their names up on the internet, post their addresses or phones so we can open a dialogue into their insecurities and in the worst case at least keep them under better supervision.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drayke
      Drayke

      I disagree. I think some bullying should be criminalized. Furthermore, I think teachers and anyone who works with minors should have a legal responsibility to do everything they can to stop bullying and harassment. The laws would have to be very clear and specific, but that goes for any law really. The notion that these bullies are “stupid teenagers” who don’t understand how much they are hurting others is bullshit. They know full well.

      There’s a huge difference between kids who engage in light bullying (still not ok) and those who systematically harass and emotionally torture others. These kids are old enough to understand what they are doing, particularly when his suicide has already occurred and they are now shouting out to his sister that they are glad he is dead. Worse yet, there are still plenty of homophobic or just plain ignorant adults working in schools who look the other way when a gay kid gets bullied more so than when someone gets bullied for their race or appearance.

      There’s a notion that is still stuck in many people’s minds that, although bullying kids for being gay is wrong, kids who are “out” are opening themselves up to harassment and that being bullied for being gay just comes with the territory. It’s time for the law to take more of a role in protecting gay youth.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drayke
      Drayke

      @velocifero: Exactly! I think some bullying should be criminalized. Furthermore, I think teachers and anyone who works with minors should have a legal responsibility to do everything they can to stop bullying and harassment. The laws would have to be very clear and specific, but that goes for any law really. The notion that these bullies are “stupid teenagers” who don’t understand how much they are hurting others is bullshit. They know full well.

      There’s a huge difference between kids who engage in light bullying (still not ok) and those who systematically harass and emotionally torture others. These kids are old enough to understand what they are doing, particularly when his suicide has already occurred and they are now shouting out to his sister that they are glad he is dead. Worse yet, there are still plenty of homophobic or just plain ignorant adults working in schools who look the other way when a gay kid gets bullied more so than when someone gets bullied for their race or appearance.

      There’s a notion that is still stuck in many people’s minds that, although bullying kids for being gay is wrong, kids who are “out” are opening themselves up to harassment and that being bullied for being gay just comes with the territory. It’s time for the law to take more of a role in protecting gay youth.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 10:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Mark Snyder: said…

      “Jails and our prison system have never and never will solve societal problems. Prisons and jails turn youth into criminals later in life. We have the data to prove it – no opinions necessary.”
      _________________________________

      Gee, that’s funny, the fact that they were in prison would seem to indicate that they were ALREADY criminals.

      The argument of “Oh no, we shouldn’t put the kid who kicked in the teeth of his teacher in jail because he might become a criminal” is beyond ridiculous.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mk_Ultra_Again
      Mk_Ultra_Again

      @Michael:
      Exactly! Sociopathic kids grow into sociopathic adults. The kids booing and rejoicing in Jamey’s death – they are the next Michele Bachmann, Tony Perkins, Rick Santorum. If we don’t stand up to dangerous behavior like this, it gets worse for us, not better.
      I’m sorry but expecting the schools to take care of it is a joke. Maybe in a perfect world…
      Make military school the punishment for this type of harassment at the least. Jail sentences certainly are fitting for some of these stories.
      If you’re responsible for someone’s death, if you’ve coerced someone into suicide, you have to take responsibility for your actions, not matter what you’re age.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • newcityspot
      newcityspot

      What sucks about all this is nobody took care of the issue while Jamey was alive, so all of this is kinda pointless now. Changing the law and implementing nationwide vigilance against bullying of any kind would be more effective.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      @jason: So I suppose Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann are going to help out here? YOU ARE A DORK!

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      Do you re@Mk_Ultra_Again: Some jail sentences would seem appropriate for cases even when the victim wasn’t driven to suicide. remember the 2010 Cheyenne Williams case, where the two 18-year-old girls in Kentucky were accused (and arrested) by Williams’ mother of kidnapping her lesbian daughter to push her off a cliff. The girls turned out to be completely innocent, in fact were lifelong friends of Williams, and the mother a nutty troublemaker. But before their innocence was proven they had already suffered through a campaign run by gay men to publicize their email addresses, Facebook pages, etc., to bombard them with threatening messages (including threats of torture by mutilating their sexual organs). In cases like that, even without any subsequent suicides, I would say prosecution was called for. But I still think we have to tread extremely carefully into those waters.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      @Hephaestion: and the homophobia comes right from the parents and right wing news organisations.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Bring back corporal punishment. This type of shit wouldn’t happen in Singapore where they cane kids for littering. It’s the only thing proven to work and it really does work.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ricky rocky
      ricky rocky

      I wonder what the bullies’ parents are like? Do you think they are pieces of sh*t or just cursed with children who are monsters?

      Sep 28, 2011 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tom green
      tom green

      @Hephaestion: “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. … Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” MLK Violence does nothing punishment IS necessarily ie small warning, suspension, something else, REQUIRED punitive military school.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 6:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joedee1969
      joedee1969

      Our favorite bear has wrote and article on Jamey that is the most powerful thing I have read on any of this and I want everyone to help make this article go viral and I want to whole world to hear his words!

      http://americaspeaksink.com/2011/09/had-enough-at-14/

      Sep 28, 2011 at 7:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      Homophobia isn’t new. Hell, its less now than it was 10 years ago. Administrators have actually gotten stronger not weaker on bullying. Yet, this suicide epidemic is on the rise. Maybe there is another reason other than bullying.

      Making bullying illegal won’t stop it. All it will manage to do is to put even more stress on an already overburdened court system.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 7:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      Absolute BS. They should be prosecuted and severely punished.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 7:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Daez: said….

      “Homophobia isn’t new. Hell, its less now than it was 10 years ago. Administrators have actually gotten stronger not weaker on bullying. Yet, this suicide epidemic is on the rise. Maybe there is another reason other than bullying.”
      ____________________________

      Daez, interesting comment. I’m curious though if the suicides are on the rise or if they are merely getting more publicity than before. Remember, not that long ago the news would not have mentioned that a child was gay because they wouldn’t want to “Embarrass the Family”. So if they wouldn’t mention the cause of their being gay, then there was nothing to tie any group of suicides together. Not sure, but I’m going to try to check that out.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 8:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Frank
      Frank

      FUCK them all yes they should be prosecuted….bullying should be a hate crime

      Sep 28, 2011 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike128
      mike128

      I think the issue is that it’s not really just the kids here. They are obviously in an environment where they are taught and encouraged to hold these points of view. The adults set the tone for what’s right and wrong, and the adults are responsible for setting boundaries about acceptable behavior. It’s also the adults who need to make sure the schools are safe. And Im not saying the kids are NOT to blame – but where are the voices holding this adults of this community accountable??

      Sep 28, 2011 at 10:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      I think for the sake of future gay kids that these bullies have to be prosecuted

      Sadly, the idea that a very public prosecution and trial is necessary in order to serve as an example to the others fits here

      Sep 28, 2011 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      there’s no point in trying to curb “school bullying”, or criminalizing it, when the reality is that it’s simple the “trickle-down” Bigoted Bullying of adults, and indeed politicians and religious leaders.

      you can’t tell a kid not to hate and discriminate against someone because they’re gay, or perceived to be gay, or a gender-nonconformist, when the reality is that kid looks to their government and sees THAT IT’S OK TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST SOMEONE BECAUSE OF THEIR PERCEIVED SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

      and then the “reasons” for that discrimination are always the same – gays are evil, gays are dangerous, gays are sinful, gays are Wrong.

      you don’t just blame the kids who learned the bigotry. you attack the root.

      call bigotry what it is, and realize that as long as the US has bigoted anti-gay discrimination written into law in most states that this problem will only continue.

      we don’t allow tobacco and alcohol companies to market to chidren. amazingly, we let bigots market and promote bigotry to children.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Little Kiwi:

      For the love of god would you shutup already? You do not know everything nor will you ever.You always have an answer for everything including telling people what they should and should not do.I so feel for your friends god help them is all I will say.

      You act as if just because Canada does better that you ARE better then the rest of the US. WRONG.

      The fact that you continuously brag at the progress where you live is disgraceful and appalling.While the rest of this country has to fight for our rights you feel as if you are entitled to receive everything on a silver platter whilst the rest of us fight our damndest to achieve equal rights and equal progress where we live.

      No duh also I already said it starts in the home.It starts with the parents and ENDS with the parents its their damn job to raise their kids to be civilized decent human beings no one elses but theirs. Yes there is no point in trying to curb the bullying that makes SOO much logical sense NOT. Man you act as if you are making excuses for these bullies actions.

      You want to blame someone blame the parents blame the schools blame all those who stand by and do NOTHING while people like Jamey are bullied mercilessly. Amazing how you never think before you post.

      Government my ass also these kids KNOW what they are doing don’t try to put the blame on the idiotic government .These kids make these decisions they make their choices and ultimately they are the main ones to blame besides the parents. You are just trying to find excuses in order to justify what these individuals do.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      @Michael, please direct your obsessive craziness elsewhere. I understand your obsession with me, but now it’s officially pathetic.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Little Kiwi:

      Flagged again for bullying you will get thrown off this site eventually you arrogant moron.

      I bet your friends bash you behind your back also would not surprise me in the least.You are the pathetic one little boy you mock bully harass and put down everyone here.The only people you are insincere and fake your kindness to are those who kiss your ass period.

      Yawns at your pitiful lie once AGAIN you really are full of yourself dude get professional help you’re pathetic enough as it is. :)Way to avoid what I wrote btw just more proof of what a coward and hypocrite you are.No more writing on this topic also mr bully otherwise it just exposes even more of what a hypocrite YOU are. :)

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      right. i post a comment, you come on and post another obsessive essay about me, i write back, and you flag me foor bullying.

      like i said, your obsession is now pathetic.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Little Kiwi:

      Nope I will be exposing you on YT as well you have said so many things here that contradict what you claim you stand for.Once people see the truth many will turn against you :)

      You were bullying yesterday also my dear and I will be contacting Queerty about it as well you will be the one who regrets it not me. :) Your videos are hilarious btw especially you flaunting that thing you call a body.I was right before you are indeed a hypocritical manwhore lol

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      none of those things will improve your own life. keep it up.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Little Kiwi:

      Im already working on it your friends will see exactly how hypocritical YOU are . :) You always think you are so bright … not in this regard you aren’t.

      I have no need to improve my own life manwhore Im nothing like YOU an arrogant spoiled brat who thinks that people should agree with him constantly otherwise I will mock your dead father your social anxiety disorder your virginity your intelligence and so on.I have plenty of proof to use against you so you’ll see in the end ultimately.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      like i said, you obsessive campaign against me will not improve your own life. keep it up.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Little Kiwi:

      If only people like you were not a part of this community it would be a better place.

      Now run along wimpy little boy and tell more people to go kill themselves.Thats all your kind is good for anyways.Thankfully you’ll wind up alone one day with only your ego to keep you warm poor you. :)

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ernst
      Ernst

      The bullies don’t understand the “gravitas” of their actions? Don’t you mean the “gravity”?

      Sep 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ernst
      Ernst

      The bullies don’t understand the “gravitas” of their actions? Don’t you mean “gravity”?

      Sep 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean212
      Sean212

      A 12, 13, 14, 15 year old adolescent should know how to treat people with respect and the difference between right and wrong. These teens aren’t children. With media in their lives they are far more advanced then teens of the 90s, 80s, 70s etc. If they don’t know by the time they are a teen that actions have consequences then they probably aren’t going to learn. I don’t want these “kids” growing up and living near me. Punish them now.

      I was 7 when I first lost a pet. I didn’t understand death exactly, but I understood that my parents, siblings and myself were sad and I didn’t like it. That these “kids” would chant that they were glad a boy was dead and not even consider his family and friend’s feelings suggests that these “kids” will never value life. Punish them before they hurt innocent people.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tair
      Tair

      This is gold: “stupid teenagers who probably don’t entirely understand the gravitas of their actions.”

      Really? You roll over that easily? They factually encouraged a kid to kill himself and then celebrated their success afterwards.

      I’d say they they had a pretty firm understanding of the gravitas—and outcome—of their actions.

      @Ernst: No, gravitas is correct. Look it up, FFS.

      Sep 29, 2011 at 1:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist
      Queer Supremacist

      We need to be encouraging gay kids to get violent.

      We need to be encouraging gay kids not to bring a knife to a gun fight. We should be teaching them to bring WMDs to a gun fight.

      We need to teach them that they need to be the ones throwing the last punches, if not the first.

      We need to be teaching gay kids to use lethal force. We need to be arming them with knives, brass knuckles, and yes, guns.

      We need a gay equivalent of the Black Panthers and the Jewish Defense League.

      Pacifism is suicide, and it also, as George Orwell pointed out, empowers your enemies. Sometimes violence is the answer, and when innocent kids are being persecuted for who they are, that is one of those times. The persecutors of gays both young and old need to be taken down by any means necessary.

      It’s time for violent revolt, and the youngest generation of gays needs to be a part of that violent revolt. You can call for all the laws you want, but those only treat symptoms, not the disease, just like Little Kiwi’s beloved hate speech laws in his pusillanimous authoritarian utopia called Canada (yet he lives here in a country he detests and looks down on for reasons that are beyond human comprehension).

      “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

      “We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” – Malcolm X

      Sep 29, 2011 at 2:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Galvez
      Jason Galvez

      I have been reading the paper and watching the news regarding Jamey Rodemeyer and the one missing component that I am not hearing is anyone distinguishing Homophobic Bullying from other types of bullying as they are completely separate. I wish to include a portion of my graduate thesis http://jasonjdotbiz.wordpress.com/ if for no reason than to raise awareness. Thank you

      “Homophobic bullying is not like other types of bullying. If a student is bullied based on race, religion, their weight etc., they can run home to an understanding (often relatable) parent/family who understands their pain and can console them. Gay youth do not have that refuge as they 1) Are usually not out to themselves yet, and 2) fear being thrown out of their homes and family. This pent up frustration, hurt and anger eventually leads to what has (sadly) been happening in the media as of late.”

      Jason Galvez

      Sep 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      “Horrible though they are, Rodemeyer’s bullies are also stupid teenagers who probably don’t entirely understand the gravitas of their actions.”

      As a teenager, can I just point out that that is a really fucking stupid thing to say? Fine, they’re kids, we can forgive them (just) for bullying Jamie while he was still alive. BUT NOW HE’S DEAD. THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH. THERE IS NO EXCUSE.

      Nov 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      @Tair: Ernst was right.

      I cite the OED:

      “Weighty dignity; reverend seriousness; serious or solemn conduct or demeanour befitting a ceremony, an office, etc.; staidness. In later use with wider application: Seriousness or sobriety (of conduct, bearing, speech, temperament, etc.); opp. to levity and gaiety.”

      ‘Gravitas’ refers specifically to the MANNER in which something is done or someone conducts themselves, not the quality of actually BEING ‘Of grave, weighty, or serious character or nature; importance, seriousness’ which is one of the senses of the word ‘gravity’.

      I’m not the pedantic type, but you seem to be and you got it wrong, so you’re kinda asking for it. Why don’t you look it up before you try to correct someone, smartass. FFS.

      Nov 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Okama
      Okama

      As I see it, the fact remains that we are talking about the bullying of children by other children, some as young as 11, who really don’t have any idea what they’re doing. They’ve been indoctrinated by their parents who feed them anti-gay sludge all day and night, and empowered by their school administrators who often do nothing to stop them. Some of these 11-, 12-, and 13-year-old bullies may very well grow up and realise that what they did to Jamie Rodemeyer, and Asher Brown, and Tyler Clementi, and Ryan Halligan was despicable, and that may be the one thing that actually makes them see that the homophobic filth they have been force-fed their entire lives is ridiculous, hurtful, and even lethal. Criminalising their actions will only make them resent the authorities more and make them more likely to repeat them. *Killing* them, an idea I have seen suggested here, is just ridiculous. If I got to choose the punishment these kids would endure, it would be to have their names read aloud over the school loudspeaker along with an affirmation that the death absolutely was their fault. Perhaps *that* would force them to think about their discriminatory beliefs a little bit harder. Who knows, maybe it’ll even turn some of them into activists for our cause.

      Feb 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jd Mandy
      Jd Mandy

      My heart goes out to young kids today who are bullied especially in High School. I too was bullied in the early 60s for being different. It was a nightmare consisting of daily harrasment and beatings on the school bus and at school (but more so on the bus where there wasn’t any protection except from my best friend who wasn’t gay in anyway).

      Please remember that school is like a big pond with a few big fish that make everyone else’s life a misery (including their mates who are too frightened to speak up when there are wrong doings being committed). After High School in the real World the big fish suddenly become small fry and are eaten up by the system.

      So to kids, both girls and boys, I say while it seems like forever, things do get better. You meet people with more open minds and get to mix with like people. High School is just a small insular World and the problems experienced there are blown out of proportion because it is all you know and there seems to be no escape – don’t lose hope and please seek help from family and support groups, you are not alone!

      As for me, I went to Uni, had a very successful career, a family of 5 kids and have great friends. But I have always been supportive of both youth and my gay friends who are discriminated against; this is because of my experiences in High School because I too was a little different and sensitive. I have also been in the fortunate position at work of being able to intervene whenever I saw inappropriate behaviour towards staff who are gay.

      My heart breaks whenever I hear about youth, such as Jamey Rodemeyer, taking their own lives – they are an enomous loss to the World because they all had so much to contribute! I just hope the US gets its act together and stops these hate crimes. We are all less richer because of the loss of these teenagers.

      Mar 5, 2012 at 7:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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