Another Teen Suicide Linked to Bullying
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2011 Sep 21
14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer was found dead after an apparent suicide. He left no note. But his parents say he was bullied for years in middle school.
"It was a constant taunting," said Tracy Rodemeyer, Jamey's mother. "The same people over and over."
The bullying got so bad the parents went to the school about it. They say the school tried to stop it and succeeded at times. Jamey also went through counseling and learned to deal with it better. But it was tough. The bullies were mean.
"People would say, you're like a girl or whatever and then even some of them would say what are you gay," said Tracy. "And he did not like when he was being called those things."
Tracy says Jamey questioned his sexuality and they talked about it openly as a family, and that for the last year, he was doing well.
Tim Rodemeyer, Jamey's father, said, "He fooled everybody. He put on a brave face and I wish he wouldn't have."
Tim and Tracy say they have a message for other parents:
"They have to teach their children to stand up for themselves and their friends and stop the bullies from bullying people," said Tim.