Will Jamey Rodemeyer’s Bullies Actually Face Criminal Charges?

In the wake of Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide, Amherst Police Chief John C. Askey says that police have begun looking into “an identifiable group of students, that had specifically targeted Jamey, or had been picking on him for a period of time.” If they find that any student committed criminal harassment against Rodemeyer, they could face face minimum harassment violations, aggravated harassment for cyberbullying, or even hate crime charges for attacking Jamey’s sexual orientation.

Sadly, Askey said that if Rodemeyer or others had reported his bullying earlier, the police might have helped stop it: “I think the biggest lesson is that it happens, and people should reported it to the police, even if they’re not sure if there’s potential that it’s criminal activity. If it’s something we can be pursuing, we will. If people ignore it, it will just continue, and nothing can be done about it.”

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  • Cam

    “Sadly, Askey said that if Rodemeyer or others had reported his bullying earlier, the police might have helped stop it”

    considering the school was aware of it, I doubt it.

  • Larry

    Sadly, this just seems to be lip-service and a bunch of shoulda, coulda, woulda by the authorities since this case has gotten national attention!

  • Thor

    The parents will sue the school/school district. The school district will look at the possible legal bills; settle; and then implement a zero tolerance bullying policy.

  • Brian Engel

    I agree with Larry. Lip-service! This is smoke and mirrors! Give people the “illusion” that something is being done about it until it “blows over” and people forget.

    Honestly, I don’t have an answer to this. People, children are DIEING out there. We must never forget!…..All of them! The weak, “nerds,” “geeks,” fat, skinny. All of them! Let’s all REMEMBER!

  • Shannon1981

    I lived there. Well not in Amherst, but in Cheektowaga. Buffalo is a backwards ass shithole, and unless you live downtown in Allentown, where the gays are, there ARE no gays. And no protection for them, and plenty of redneck bullies. Lip service is right. They are scrambling. They need be sued and the kids who did this need to go to jail. Let it serve as an example to all what could happen if you choose to bully those different from yourself.

  • MattGMD

    “I think the biggest thing is that it happens and people should report it to the police…”
    – John Askey, Police Chief

    Bad cop. No donut.

  • JoeyB

    So much for the success of Dan Savage’s publicity stunt “It Gets Better”. We don’t need platitudes or actors like Zachary Quinto who make videos about this but are not brave enough as this young boy to come out. We need laws. We need to protest. All these celebrities and politicians make me sick. Let’s rise and march. We need justice.

  • Michael


    It needs to start with this community first.People on this site alone get off on bullying and that in turn makes anything they say hypocritical automatically.

    We need to start in this community first and combat the bullying there so we can then make this community a more nurturing loving and caring community.Especially for those who feel unloved unwanted unappreciated and unneeded as many of these teens feel nowadays.

  • Bobby

    As said as this story is I don’t think it would be right to try to arrest the bullies.They are more than likely kids too and all kids are bullied at some point.

  • Bobby

    As sad as this story is I don’t think it would be right to try to arrest the bullies.They are more than likely kids too and all kids are bullied at some point.

  • AedanRoberts


    You know there are about, what, ten thousand or so (rough estimate) videos associated with the It Gets Better Project, right? Out of those thousands only a couple hundred are from celebrities trying to glom on to boost their compassion cred or gain publicity.

    The other thousands? Those are from every-day, un-famous, unfettered masses. They are from gay youth, older gay communities, even straight allies- all of whom create heartfelt videos. To paint the IGBP as nothing more than Dan Savage’s vanity project is doing the IGBP a massive disservice and making yourself look extremely foolish, petty and bitter. Is it really so terribly hard to believe that this could actually have been something that was started for reasons beyond the purely selfish? Honestly- when Mr. Savage did this he did not think it was going to get even a fraction as large as it has become- he just wanted to try and do SOMETHING to reach out and talk to people who would otherwise not have access to the words he wanted to say.

    Also: when did Dan Savage or ANYONE associated with the IGBP ever -EVER- say that it was supposed to be the solution to Gay Teen Suicides? I’ll tell you- it never happened. Much to the contrary he and many others say the opposite- that this is supposed to be a source of comfort but by no means is it supposed to be where people stop attempting to help. Everything from their constant pleas for troubled, suicidal youth to seek help through the Trevor Project, to fighting for Anti-Bullying legislation shows that they understand that IGBP is more of a nice start to what is a much, MUCH bigger journey.

    In other words- stop spewing hate for a project that has done nothing but good. This one teen’s suicide is not evidence that the It Gets Better Project is an abject failure- it’s just further evidence that it isn’t the only thing that people need to be doing/supporting.

  • Guillermo3

    My Comment/Question/Reaction: OUTRAGE +GRIEF: How many kids,of any sexual-orientation, have to to die because of persecution,and societal indifference to that persecution ??!!

  • Dave

    @JoeyB-I agree with you.

    Adean, give us a break we’re not that gullible or “It gets better” queens/fans like yourself.

    Savage only started “It gets better” not because he cares about GLBT teens but for self promotion since he’s a total fame/media whore, and now he has a reality TV show on MTV.

    If you seriously think Dan Savage is trying to make the world a better place for anybody but himself, you ain’t qualified to judge anybody’s actions or words.

    “It gets better” is a total joke if you’re Trans or Bisexual since Dan Savage does not like bisexual men and women or Transmen and Transwomen and he’s made a career out of giving out completely wrong “advice” about bisexuals and Trans people and bashing bisexuals and trans people, and this makes him a total hypocrite and someone who should NOT be a spokesperson for being against GLBT youth being bullied.

    It’s clear that Dan Savage the media whore clearly did the whole “It gets better” project to get an MTV reality TV show and that he and his husband are all for themselves and just want attention, fame, money, and don’t really care about GLBT youth/kids.

    I can understand how the idea of “It gets better” would be good if it was not started by the media/fame whore Dan Savage but it got totally ruined once they had celebrities, national sports teams, and politicians making “It gets better” videos when most GLBT celebrities and pro atheltes and public figures/celebrities are totally closeted.

    Then you had straight people and the idiot pornstar Buck Angel telling GLBT teens “it gets better” yeah as if they’d somehow know and a Transman who does porn and is a semi-famous cum dumpster isn’t a role model.

    Savage acts as though he invented a public service campaign to help stop bullying/help GLBT youth but in reality he didn’t and he’s conveniently ignored the fact that politicians did this like Obama with his “Make it better” project and GLBT youth against bullying, and orgs like the Trevor Project were around for a long time.

    For the people who are going to claim that Savage isn’t biphobic or Transphobic:
    CLEARLY you don’t follow Dan Savage. He is biphobic and Transphobic, bigoted, racist, and a total hypocrite. He supported the 2nd Iraq war!

    Savage has written for decades and said on camera for documentaries and on youtube how he believes that male bisexuals don’t exist, that magically somehow all bisexuals wind up in opposite gender relationships and never in same gender relationships even though that’s not true, that Lesbian women shouldn’t be involved with bisexual women, and he talks out of his ass when it comes to bisexuality and even still tells bisexual teens and young adults that they don’t exist and are going to eventually accept that they’re gay or lesbian while he should be supportive of ALL GLBT people instead of being a self promoting hypocrite for his reality TV show on MTV while pretending to give a shit about GLBT teens.

    I don’t think biphobic gays like Dan Savage help matters. With their ‘bisexual men are really gay men who are lying’ and ‘bisexual teens and young adults are really gay/lesbian and will eventually come out as such’ tropes.

    As a gay man I’ve noticed that when other gay men who are biphobic or practice bisexual erasure like Dan Savage does, are not eagerly cruising bisexual men in laybys, saunas, hook up sites, and chat-rooms, are too often keen to denounce the ‘dishonesty’ and ‘double lives’ and ‘repression’ of bisexual men – because they have the temerity to not be just like them, all the while there are tons of gay men that are deeply closeted, lie and cheat on each other, and who act and pretend as though they are the ultimate victims and pariahs of society.

    Dan Savage also supported the junk science “studies” done by a biphobic and homophobic eugenicist who wants to find a gay/GLBT gene so people don’t have to have gay/GLBT children and can abort them.

  • the crustybastard

    FTFA: [Police Chief] Askey said that if Rodemeyer or others had reported his bullying earlier, the police might have helped stop it.

    And monkeys MIGHT fly out of Wayne Campbell’s butt.

    I know that people quit believing cops a long time ago, but do cops even believe themselves anymore?

  • No Homo

    what is it that people want the cops to do?All kids are bullied,I say again All kids are bullied.Gay kid have to learn how to deal with it and move on.

  • Little Kiwi

    How about the high-ranking politicians who run political platforms based on anti-gay rhetoric?

    these anti-gay children and their parents look to elected officials and see anti-gay bigotry not only reflected, but encouraged and indeed championed.

    what message is that sending? “Hey kids, don’t bully your classmates. Wait until you’re a grown adult and you can Bully them the Big Kids Way by denying them equal rights, freedoms and privileges under law”???

    bullying is an issue. but bullying doens’t end in the classroom. you wanna address bullying you look at the grown-ass adults out there, the Santorums and Bachmanns and Ruben Diazs and the Sally Kerns of the country, who are indeed validating every single fear and ounce of prejudice those “child bullies” have against gay people, or people they perceived to be gay.

  • Little Kiwi

    Curious, “No Homo” – at what age did you fully Come Out, as in to Everyone?

  • Little Kiwi

    I’ve never understood the criticism of the “it gets better” project – it was simply one way, of MANY, to send messages of Hope to LGBT people out there. The beauty of the project is that literally anyone can make a video. If you don’t think the videos have “addressed an issue properly” then make a bloody video yourself that addresses what you feel should have been addressed.

    Whatever beef any of you have with Dan Savage has nothing whatsoever to do with the It Gets Better campaign. Rather than complaining, MAKE A VIDEO HIGHLIGHTING WHAT YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT. talk about being bisexual. talk about being transgendered. dont’ get mad that other people aren’t representing “you” if you’re not going to represent yourself.

    I’m particularly shocked to see Buck Angel being insulted on here. Ok, YOU don’t like Buck’s chosen profession? Astonishingly, you’re missing the entire point of Buck’s message. Buck Angel has found peace and happiness in life, and Buck’s mother has found peace, happiness, acceptance and love in what her son has done with his life.

    Check this out. It’s my parents with Buck Angel.

    What did we see this week? Conservative bigots booing a man who served his country in the military simply because he’s gay.

    Buck Angel’s story? Here we have a female to male transman who has indeed worked in the adult industry and whose mother loves and supports him unconditionally.

    think about what that means, for a moment. don’t have a negative-nancy knee-jerk reaction to Buck working in “porn” – think about it: FTM Transman. Working in porn. With a mother that still loves and supports him entirely. If THAT isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is. We just saw a bunch of Right-Wingers booing a guy who was gay who served in the military – surely a mother who loves her trans son who’s worked in porn should speak volumes about how a person can get over perceived prejudices or socially-dictated insecurities and mores to embrace the person they love.

    i mean, come ON.

  • Michael

    It all depends really it depends on whether the police are corrupt or not for starters.It also depends on if they give a shit about people who are gay also.Hopefully Justice will be served though these bullies have done enough and caused enough damage to too many innocent families who now grieve everyday of their lives as it is.

  • JoeyB

    @AedanRoberts: Yeah, right, tell all your publicity-sounding garbage to this boy’s family. You’re the one being foolish in the face of such tragedy.

  • adam

    @JoeyB: The boy’s family is probably grateful that his short life was made less unpleasant by the support he received online including the It Gets Better project. The kid himself obviously considered the project valuable and worthwhile since he made an IGB video of his own and uploaded it.

    Marching is not anything new, it’s not going to save all these kids anymore than IGB can save them all, and it can’t reach vulnerable kids in remote conservative places in the direct and personal way the IGB project does.

    We need to have a lot of different tools in our toolbox, and we shouldn’t throw one out just because it doesn’t suit every job or doesn’t reach an impossible standard of 100% success.

  • Queer Supremacist

    The kids responsible for his death need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All hate crimes suspects need to be tried as adults, period. Don’t give me that “they’re just children” excuse, that sort of patronizing crap allows this barbarianism to continue unchecked.

    And investigate the schools for criminal negligence as well. If they have to be shut down to keep gay kids safe, so be it.

  • No Homo

    @Little Kiwi: it depends on what you mean by everyone.I can out to my family and friends in my 20’s.I’m 32 now.But there are still people that I don’t just tell right away that I’m gay because it’s not important.I never understood why some people make their whole live about being gay.

  • No Homo

    @Queer Supremacist: How are these kids responsible for his death?He made a choice to give up and not fight.

  • Michael

    @No Homo:

    I disagree with you profusely in that matter.I had a friend years ago whose friend took his own life in real life.He was openly gay and his parents did not support him so he felt unloved and they treated him like shit.He went out to back of his house one day took a gun and blew his brains out.NO and I will say that as many times as possible people do not just GIVE UP and not fight as you foolishly claimed.Many people who go through things like this are at their darkest hour they need a little compassion a little kindness a little love.Someone who will actually reach out to them and make that difference that they so desperately need in order to go on living as they deserve to.

    It does not make these kids teens adults cowards it makes them human it makes them flawed and every human being in this world despite how perfect some may act are NOT they are also flawed. These people are troubled lost souls and comments like yours do NOT help at all .Jamey was not a coward he gave up as you claimed because he felt he had nothing left and the schools were ignoring his desperate cries for help.

    If you want to blame anyone then you hold accountable the bullies the teachers for not doing their jobs the administrators the faculty the principal the school board the bullies parents the ones who saw him being bullied yet stood there or walked by him and did NOTHING.These kids are not cowards they dont just give up and not fight.I know I almost was one of those kids when I was younger I tried to slit my wrist open with a butchers knife one day while my mom was asleep because I felt like I could not take anymore health problems so many things back then.But I managed to find a way to get through it and forced myself to fight.BUT some people don’t have that strength it doesnt make them weak it makes them human it also makes them someone who NEEDS help before it is too late.

    Ive had to talk friends down from taking their own lives my boyfriend is suicidal and goes through shit and has a father that abused him since he was a child…. amongst other things. I say this not to put the attention on me and take it off of Jamey not at all.I say this to you so you can understand from someone who HAS been where Jamey was that its nowhere near as easy as people like you try to paint it or make it look like.

    Jamey made a choice alright he tried to live the best possible way he could…. its not his fault the school didnt give a damn and did NOTHING despite his many pleas for help.

    Jameys cries fell on deaf ears so as I said you want to blame someone you blame those kids who bullied him and all the others I mentioned. Queer Supremacist is absolutely correct in that regard especially. How someone can even make a comment like the one you just did boggles the mind. You dishonor the memory of this child and his life with comments like that.

  • JHAG

    I must say that it is extremely sad and ridiculous that we all rush to assume that if the police had known the bullying was going on they still would have done nothing. Who are we to judge what the police would have done? Do we even know the police chief? Some of the problems we have in our gay culture is that we are quick to judge and pass the judging factor or statement onto our society and we all follow suit. Is there somewhere that says all police forces are against homosexuals? Whatever happened to benefit of the doubt?

    The only way the LGBTQ community is going to make it and survive is by rising above the social norms and putting ourselves out there as people who do not judge, as people who are leading examples in the community. It’s sad to say though we have a hard time doing that because we are bullied and allow people to do this to us. But think about it, Rosa Parks rose above social norms and stood up for herself on a school bus; LT. Dan Choi rose above social norms for the military and chained himself to the fence in front of the White House for DADT and now he’s being prosecuted but he got his point across. I ask each of you what can we do for our society, for our culture that will allow us to rise above the social norm for understanding of whom we are.

    I ask myself that if the mother knew this bullying was going on, how come she didn’t report it to the police? She was so supportive of him and cared so much about him, what did she do to protect her son?

    As for Dan Savages IGB Campaign just like anything else in America it gets highly politicized because someone wants to get involved to get something from it. They want fans, they want votes, or they just want to make sure they are known. Does it really take an actor, a politician, or even the spouse of one of these people to convince us that life can get better? Give me a break it just tries to push us to craving and desiring some obnoxious life such as that. Does one really need that? I doubt they do.

    Jamey was a very brave boy and I cherish the fact that he was able to put himself out there. There are so many of us that have been afraid to put ourselves out there because we are so afraid of being judged. This is a young man who was not only being judged but being bullied and tried so very hard to hold his head high and rise above the social norm, but he was only 14 Yrs old. I salute Jamey for taking the challenge on at such a young age and know that he will be dearly missed by so many that were close to him.

  • Pip

    I think they should simply be expelled. They shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of a public institution.

  • Namikaze

    I hope the bullies get charged with criminal harassment, get expelled, and have a black mark on their records that will prevent them from ever going to college. An eye for an eye, they should have their lives ruined and they be shunned for their actions.

  • evilqueen

    The solution is to jail the parents of the bullies. They’re legally responsible for their offspring’s behavior, and I’ll bet most of them are morally responsible too. It won’t stop until the adults who promote and condone this behavior suffer penalties. And the parents of Jamey should sue the school district for failure of in loco parentis. No more forgiveness for these creeps!

  • Tricia

    @No Homo: I cannot believe you would say something that gauche. A boy has killed himself and a bunch more suicides are being thought about and occuring each day because of bullying. Yes everyone gets bullied, but do not be so tactless to post something on an article about a young man who killed himself because of bullying and saying “just get over it”. You should be ashamed.

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