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deoxys121
September 22nd, 2011, 03:12 PM
Jamey Rodemeyer, 14 years old from Buffalo, NY, committed suicide last weekend because of gay bullying. Rodemeyer was a big fan of Lady Gaga, as seen from the last Twitter message of his life.

"@ladygaga bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever," tweeted Rodemeyer on Sept. 18, just before he was found dead.

"Don't forget me when I come crying to heaven's door," he wrote on his Facebook page as he posted lyrics from Lady Gaga's song "The Queen."

Source (http://newyork.ibtimes.com/articles/218363/20110922/jamey-rodemeyer-lady-gaga-suicide-bully-gay.htm)

This story is all over Facebook. This young teenager committed suicide after being bullied for being gay.

There is discussion going on as a result of this about getting a law made that would make any form of bullying illegal and a hate crime. Lady Gaga, of whom Jamey was a big fan, says she is taking this one all the way to the White House.

I fully agree that a law should be made for the aforementioned. While I find all forms of bullying to be wrong, bullying for being gay/lesbian is extremely common, too common in my opinion. I actively support equal rights for LGBT people, so any stories like this sicken me.

What do you guys think about this? Discuss! Be sure to read the whole article for more details.

QuilavaKing
September 22nd, 2011, 05:38 PM
Wow, making bullying illegal is a huge deal. I hope it happens, although I wonder what the punishment will actually be, since this will mostly apply to kids, or teenagers.

Jak
September 22nd, 2011, 05:52 PM
That's...terrible. Poor baby. May he rest in peace. I hope everything goes well with this and a law is created. If this and the tons of other suicide stories over bullying aren't enough reason, then I don't know what is.

Edit: His video and his YouTube page omg... :'(

Shiny Celebi
September 22nd, 2011, 06:21 PM
This is absolutely horrible. I agree making all bullying illegal is a huge deal, what would the punishment be though?

Team Fail
September 22nd, 2011, 06:21 PM
Go Lady Gaga.

I don't see why everyone has to hate people just for choice of sexuality. It is very wrong imo and I hope some tough law comes into place to resolve this, and I hope that many other countries follow suit.

May he rest in peace.

Jak
September 22nd, 2011, 07:14 PM
I don't see why everyone has to hate people just for choice of sexuality. It is very wrong imo and I hope some tough law comes into place to resolve this, and I hope that many other countries follow suit.

Choice of se-- ahhh, let it go, Syd.

This is absolutely horrible. I agree making all bullying illegal is a huge deal, what would the punishment be though?

I wondered that myself. Most of the bully culprits are just kids, so they can't be arrested. Just like...juvenile hall or alternative school or such. But I mean, it's not like that really helps. So I'm sure that's a point they'll bring up against making a law against bullying. Thinking about it, aren't there already places that outlaw it?

TRIFORCE89
September 22nd, 2011, 07:16 PM
Cut out the qualifier.

Bullying sucks for everyone whether your gay or not and the same unfortunate result could be had.

The root of worst bullying whether you're gay, straight, short, tall, have bad vision, have braces, black, white, etc... it's always about who you are and not what you do. Not something you can change and not something you've done.

FreakyLocz14
September 22nd, 2011, 09:17 PM
Whoa! That's absurd!

Are we really going to have the government policing our playgrounds, now?

Don't get me wrong. This story is tragic and I feel sorry for the kid and his family, but we shouldn't use it as a basis to enact radical legislation.

Alley Cat
September 22nd, 2011, 09:35 PM
I'm tired of hearing all this depressing news. Not just in the gay community, but around the world. When are people going to start living easy again...? That'll be the day... . I honestly feel the pain in this, because I'm all emotional like that. I started crying, and yeah, I'm a man not afraid to admit that. I actually cry a lot during stuff like that... I'm very empathetic. Even if I'm reading a piece of fiction that is sad, I will start to feel it.... Heavy.

Every time this happens, whether they are gay or not, I just wish that I could have a talk with them. Let them know things will be alright. I wish I could be there to show them, that not all people are bad. That some people are different. Some people care, and some people are just genuinely good people. Teach them, that those good people are the only people that matter, and anyone who has anything else to say can go **** themselves.

But, yeah. It'd be stupid to make a law. I don't know what all you other LGBT people want, btu what I want is EQUALITY. We would not be equal if such a law was set into being. That, and it would just make us weaker. Do we really need the federal government's help to live our life? No. That's asinine. You should be able to live your life the way you want of your own accord, with no fear. You don't see straight people getting all these special laws to benefit them, and they shouldn't give us any. It seems to me that most activists/supporters these days can't see the line between equality and superior(READ: handicapped).

Ausaudriel
September 22nd, 2011, 09:36 PM
Hist last tweet is literally heartbreaking.

I hope in death he finds the peace that so eluded him in life.

-ty-
September 22nd, 2011, 09:38 PM
Cut out the qualifier.

Bullying sucks for everyone whether your gay or not and the same unfortunate result could be had.

The root of worst bullying whether you're gay, straight, short, tall, have bad vision, have braces, black, white, etc... it's always about who you are and not what you do. Not something you can change and not something you've done.

I don't see too many short, tall, or brace-faces committing suicide due to bullying based off their appearance. Nor do we see black or white people killing themselves because of their race. But...we do see gay people killing themselves due to bullying purely motivated by sexual orientation.

Statistics from the ABC report show that 20% of all high schoolers reported bullying, while 90% of gay high schoolers reported bullying.

Vague and generic laws that are supposed to encompass anti-bullying for all students do not bring about any impact to these statistics. Although it may seem like certain groups are alienated, the statutes have to be more specific to give it teeth.

But how to punish?

Perhaps if a teacher/faculty of the school witnesses this type of bullying, he/she should have to follow a designated procedure rather than shrug off the issue as most do. There should be a legal obligation for these witnesses to take the correct actions in order to prevent further harassment which can lead to depression or suicide. Therefore, rather than rely on children to be accountable for their actions, the adults at the school would. Not to give a sympathetic anecdote, but I remember being called a fa***t every day by this one kid, and the P.E. teacher would not do ANYTHING. So I beat the kid up, and I am not a violent person by any means. It just seems pragmatic that the adult should be liable for bullying, and should be utilized to combat it ; I felt like I had to take matter into my own hands since the teacher was not too worried about it. Should this be federal law... probably not. Should this be state law...yes.

Alley Cat
September 22nd, 2011, 09:55 PM
I don't see too many short, tall, or brace-faces committing suicide due to bullying based off their appearance. Nor do we see black or white people killing themselves because of their race. But...we do see gay people killing themselves due to bullying purely motivated by sexual orientation.

Statistics from the ABC report show that 20% of all high schoolers reported bullying, while 90% of gay high schoolers reported bullying.


Racism, and the way people look, that's been discriminated against since ancient times. Homosexuality only really became widely taboo in our modern world. The Ancient Greeks, they were completely fine with it. You wouldn't believe how many people you learn about in history are actually bisexual or gay. There are a lot. That was because, back then, they didn't really hold with as high regard. Even if the bible had said that(because, you know, this was before the bible became the law.) they didn't really care much. Sure, there were those devout ones that did, but homosexuality was pretty accepted in the past.

The point of that? As a community, they are still young. All these other groups have been around for long enough to get a strong enough stand in the world to where they wont do that kind of ****. Trust me, in due time, the same thing is going to happen. We just need to wait, be patient, and keep fighting for our cause, never giving up, you know? If you want to get a point across, don't kill yourself, there are better ways. More efficient ways. Ways that will leave you alive to actually see the change you MIGHT HAVE created.

QuilavaKing
September 22nd, 2011, 10:07 PM
But, yeah. It'd be stupid to make a law. I don't know what all you other LGBT people want, btu what I want is EQUALITY. We would not be equal if such a law was set into being. That, and it would just make us weaker. Do we really need the federal government's help to live our life? No. That's asinine. You should be able to live your life the way you want of your own accord, with no fear. You don't see straight people getting all these special laws to benefit them, and they shouldn't give us any. It seems to me that most activists/supporters these days can't see the line between equality and superior(READ: handicapped).
The law they're talking about isn't just for Gays. It's for all bullying.

And making it illegal to bully someone doesn't make them weak, it makes the bullies weak. Take away their right to do it, and guess what, they probably won't anymore. Unless they like sitting in a cell. (Or w/e the punishment would be for kids. I don't know what Juvy is actually like.)

Obviously it would still happen, but this would be a huge step towards combating it.

Lalapizzame
September 22nd, 2011, 10:14 PM
If homosexuals wish to gain the ears of their representatives they must be loud and sizable. There are certainly those who are loud, but sizable? Not necessarily. Outside of a few urban enclaves, they are relatively weak and dispersed. Concentrate your political influence in a few spots, and you will go far.

Bullying is an abhorrent act, yes, but I'm not quite sure how effective enforcing the illegality of bullying will be, and I am less inclined to take an active stance on this. Illegality is clearly not an issue here, otherwise many things would be gone from this world. Boys will be boys, and rebels will be rebels.

Alley Cat
September 22nd, 2011, 10:16 PM
The law they're talking about isn't just for Gays. It's for all bullying.

And making it illegal to bully someone doesn't make them weak, it makes the bullies weak. Take away their right to do it, and guess what, they probably won't anymore. Unless they like sitting in a cell. (Or w/e the punishment would be for kids. I don't know what Juvy is actually like.)

Obviously it would still happen, but this would be a huge step towards combating it.

I was more referring to what -ty- said with that when I said for gays. But yeah I honestly think it does. Can we not stand on our two feet? Discrimination will ALWAYS exist, there's nothing you can do to stop it. Hate crimes will ALWAYS happen, there's nothing you can do to stop it. You can make better laws, but they'll find "better" ways to hate. More unique, more creative, more lucrative, more deadly... . The only that anyone can truly rise out of being bullied/being treated unequal is for them to decide for change, and for them to do something about. An individual has a lot more power in this country than people would like to believe, you just have to get off your lazy ass and do it.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

Let me tell you a big secret: If you don't care what others think, then they can't hate you. Well, they can, but it won't get them very far.
"Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." -Dr. Seuss


If homosexuals wish to gain the ears of their representatives they must be loud and sizable. There are certainly those who are loud, but sizable? Not necessarily. Outside of a few urban enclaves, they are relatively weak and dispersed. Concentrate your political influence in a few spots, and you will go far.

Bullying is an abhorrent act, yes, but I'm not quite sure how effective enforcing the illegality of bullying will be, and I am less inclined to take an active stance on this. Illegality is clearly not an issue here, otherwise many things would be gone from this world. Boys will be boys, and rebels will be rebels.

This exactly. You are only a strong as your weakest player, so the community is only as strong as the weakest people. As it is, the weakest people can't even find the strength to go on. That's what we need to work on fixing.

QuilavaKing
September 23rd, 2011, 12:07 AM
Discrimination will ALWAYS exist, there's nothing you can do to stop it. Hate crimes will ALWAYS happen, there's nothing you can do to stop it.
Yes, of course there's no way to stop it completely, but there are things that can be done to make it less common, and less threatening, and imo this is one of those things.

Gold warehouse
September 23rd, 2011, 03:39 AM
People call for stricter rules against bullying, but they don't want corporal punishment in schools.

Put children in jail? Put them in juvy? Won't solve anything. You're basically creating a criminal.

Cut out the qualifier.

Bullying sucks for everyone whether your gay or not and the same unfortunate result could be had.

The root of worst bullying whether you're gay, straight, short, tall, have bad vision, have braces, black, white, etc... it's always about who you are and not what you do. Not something you can change and not something you've done.And this. What we really need is to get the teachers to actually realise what's going on and to actually do something about it, I doubt the teachers at this kids school did anything at all. I've rarely seen them do anything. Whether it's punishing bullies or helping the kid. Anti-bullying week? How about anti-bullying day every day.

Weeaboo Name
September 23rd, 2011, 03:57 AM
I don't see why everyone has to hate people just for choice of sexuality..

Not even I troll these sort of threads.

Anyway, sad story but unfortunately not surprising. D:

Guy
September 23rd, 2011, 04:01 AM
So all of you who are against making bullying illegal, or having a law that fights against the bullies and the bullying, ─ and I'm talking about general bullying overall, not just because of sexuality ─ would you rather it continue and be ignored by the general public? I mean lets face it, we know it happens, but just how much of the majority of people act upon it? Some kids see other kids being bullied and they turn their face around. Some adults, including teachers, see kids being bullied and they think it's a way of making them tougher or they don't think much of it. All of these people ignore it, but they forget to think about the victimized party and just how much it may actually be affecting them. And bullying isn't something that has to be physical either, it can be through racial slurs or hurtful comments and then we have our cyber bullying. I'm not saying creating a law will make it stop completely, no law we have makes something stop completely, people will still do it. However, at least when they do, it's going to be taken more seriously and something will be done about it.

It's not about making people seem inferior or weak, it's about putting a stop to something that has been going on for ages, and if I recall correctly, there are some places that already have laws against bullying. So, it is very much so possible for laws to be placed against this. I don't think sending someone off to jail or juvy is going to help the case all that much other than creating a criminal perhaps boot camp might be the trick, but I'd at least like to see people acting upon it more on a day-to-day basis and standing up against it; especially the adults and teachers in schools.

Think about it, exactly how many more deaths do we need to have happen before this is taken seriously or are we just going to let it continue?

FreakyLocz14
September 23rd, 2011, 04:33 AM
So all of you who are against making bullying illegal, or having a law that fights against the bullies and the bullying, ─ and I'm talking about general bullying overall, not just because of sexuality ─ would you rather it continue and be ignored by the general public? I mean lets face it, we know it happens, but just how much of the majority of people act upon it? Some kids see other kids being bullied and they turn their face around. Some adults, including teachers, see kids being bullied and they think it's a way of making them tougher or they don't think much of it. All of these people ignore it, but they forget to think about the victimized party and just how much it may actually be affecting them. And bullying isn't something that has to be physical either, it can be through racial slurs or hurtful comments and then we have our cyber bullying. I'm not saying creating a law will make it stop completely, no law we have makes something stop completely, people will still do it. However, at least when they do, it's going to be taken more seriously and something will be done about it.

It's not about making people seem inferior or weak, it's about putting a stop to something that has been going on for ages, and if I recall correctly, there are some places that already have laws against bullying. So, it is very much so possible for laws to be placed against this. I don't think sending someone off to jail or juvy is going to help the case all that much other than creating a criminal perhaps boot camp might be the trick, but I'd at least like to see people acting upon it more on a day-to-day basis and standing up against it; especially the adults and teachers in schools.

Think about it, exactly how many more deaths do we need to have happen before this is taken seriously or are we just going to let it continue?

Physical bullying can be prosecuted under current laws against assault and what not. Some forms of verbal bullying can civilly be treated as sexual harassment or intentional infliction of emotional distress, but people should NEVER be punished criminally for things they say. I would never vote for a proposed law that punishes people (children or adults) with criminal sanctions of things that they say, regardless of what the intention is. That goes against the fundamental principles of free speech.

deoxys121
September 23rd, 2011, 06:43 AM
Some adults, including teachers, see kids being bullied and they think it's a way of making them tougher or they don't think much of it. All of these people ignore it, but they forget to think about the victimized party and just how much it may actually be affecting them.

And the adults you mention here are the ones who fail to realize just how serious bullying somebody can be until it's too late. When these kinds of people see stories like Jamey's, I would hope they would be more active in stopping bullying.

I was bullied as a kid in elementary school, and while it initially did not seem to the parents that it was very serious, it took something rather dramatic for adults to take action: me coming home late from school with a black eye, after this bullying had been going on for over 2 years. My point: it's sad to say that people often don't realize how serious bullying can be until it's too late.

Oryx
September 23rd, 2011, 06:59 AM
Physical bullying can be prosecuted under current laws against assault and what not. Some forms of verbal bullying can civilly be treated as sexual harassment or intentional infliction of emotional distress, but people should NEVER be punished criminally for things they say. I would never vote for a proposed law that punishes people (children or adults) with criminal sanctions of things that they say, regardless of what the intention is. That goes against the fundamental principles of free speech.

I thought you were all about personal freedom until it hurts someone else. Do the people killing themselves over these words in a place that they can't get away from them or do anything about them not matter? They have to go to school, and not everyone can afford private school. If the teachers are turning the other cheek, there's literally nothing they can do except take the verbal bullying, hopefully they're completely mentally stable and can handle it because what you're saying is that they basically have no recourse.

It's different in public because people can get around places where it would be an issue. For example, someone calls you a homosexual slur on a road you walk down? Walk down another road. Children can't do anything about school. Sometimes your lack of concern for the welfare of other people disturbs me, honestly.

FreakyLocz14
September 23rd, 2011, 07:20 AM
I thought you were all about personal freedom until it hurts someone else. Do the people killing themselves over these words in a place that they can't get away from them or do anything about them not matter? They have to go to school, and not everyone can afford private school. If the teachers are turning the other cheek, there's literally nothing they can do except take the verbal bullying, hopefully they're completely mentally stable and can handle it because what you're saying is that they basically have no recourse.

It's different in public because people can get around places where it would be an issue. For example, someone calls you a homosexual slur on a road you walk down? Walk down another road. Children can't do anything about school. Sometimes your lack of concern for the welfare of other people disturbs me, honestly.

Schools can impose sanctions, and even expel these bullies. If things get physical, arrests can be made. The problem is that many children do not report their bullying because they feel ashamed, and unfortunately, there are teachers and school administrators who don't do anything about it when it is brought to their attention. No law can change that. Those are social and psychological problems.

What should not happen is the government punish people because of the content of their speech. We don't have a 1st Amendment so that we can all give each other compliments. We have a 1st Amendment so that we can say controversial, inflammatory things.

Esper
September 23rd, 2011, 08:24 AM
Jamey Rodemeyer will be buried on Saturday in a Lady Gaga t-shirt that reads "Born This Way," his mother said.
I don't even like Lady Gaga but this last bit of information just put me over the edge into tears.



Statistics from the ABC report show that 20% of all high schoolers reported bullying, while 90% of gay high schoolers reported bullying.

Vague and generic laws that are supposed to encompass anti-bullying for all students do not bring about any impact to these statistics. Although it may seem like certain groups are alienated, the statutes have to be more specific to give it teeth.
This, very very this. I could not have said this better. Queer kids get special attention from bullies overall so we need something extra to address the problem they face because, while it is very similar to what any kid may experience, it is statistically more frequent for queer kids. A great frequency means more of a negative impact. Don't try to whitewash this fact. Attempts specifically to help these kids who face a very specific kind of bullying is only happening because so many people are homophobes and haters and feel emboldened by their like-minded churches, politicians, communities and families. That is the root of the problem: homophobia at large. Get rid of that and I'd be happy to see some generic anti-bullying work done. Until that happens we need to help queer kids.

Boys will be boys, and rebels will be rebels.
This is no excuse for bullying.

What we really need is to get the teachers to actually realise what's going on and to actually do something about it, I doubt the teachers at this kids school did anything at all. I've rarely seen them do anything. Whether it's punishing bullies or helping the kid. Anti-bullying week? How about anti-bullying day every day.
Some school districts (like ones in the areas that Republican presidential nominee failure hopeful Michelle Bachmann represents) do not allow teachers to address these things. You will literally have kids being bullied for being gay and the teachers hearing it but not being able to say to the poor bullied kid: "Don't listen to them. There's nothing wrong with you. They're just idiots." because that would be "taking sides" on the "gay issue."

Yeah. I know. It's ridiculous and horrible. But that's how we are in a lot of America.

Oryx
September 23rd, 2011, 08:38 AM
Schools can impose sanctions, and even expel these bullies. If things get physical, arrests can be made. The problem is that many children do not report their bullying because they feel ashamed, and unfortunately, there are teachers and school administrators who don't do anything about it when it is brought to their attention. No law can change that. Those are social and psychological problems.

What should not happen is the government punish people because of the content of their speech. We don't have a 1st Amendment so that we can all give each other compliments. We have a 1st Amendment so that we can say controversial, inflammatory things.

So basically what you're saying is that every single school should make the same rule instead of an overarching rule that says the same thing?

If there were consequences for teachers and administrators not doing something about it due to a law, then while of course not every single person would comply, but more would. It's about helping as many people as possible, not saying "this won't work 100%, so let's just do nothing instead!"

Jak
September 23rd, 2011, 08:46 AM
Schools can impose sanctions, and even expel these bullies. If things get physical, arrests can be made. The problem is that many children do not report their bullying because they feel ashamed, and unfortunately, there are teachers and school administrators who don't do anything about it when it is brought to their attention. No law can change that. Those are social and psychological problems.

Then they need a new profession. Aside from just the academic part of teaching, there are other things a teacher does, or should do otherwise seriously consider a new career, and that's caring about the well-being of their students, inside and outside the class. That's my standpoint on this anyway.

Some school districts (like ones in the areas that Republican presidential nominee failure hopeful Michelle Bachmann represents) do not allow teachers to address these things. You will literally have kids being bullied for being gay and the teachers hearing it but not being able to say to the poor bullied kid: "Don't listen to them. There's nothing wrong with you. They're just idiots." because that would be "taking sides" on the "gay issue."

Which school districts do that? Um, I'm sorry, but I will break that rule if need be. I am fairly sure my school district wasn't like this, thank God. But that is some bull crap. Leave it to me to find a way to manipulate it to where I'm not taking sides, but still addressing the problem.

I don't even like Lady Gaga but this last bit of information just put me over the edge into tears.

I love Lady Gaga and it made me want to bawl.

Esper
September 23rd, 2011, 09:07 AM
Which school districts do that? Um, I'm sorry, but I will break that rule if need be. I am fairly sure my school district wasn't like this, thank God. But that is some bull crap. Leave it to me to find a way to manipulate it to where I'm not taking sides, but still addressing the problem.
The Anoka-Hennepin school district in Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis.

Anoka-Hennepin has a policy on the books known colloquially as "no homo promo," which dates in back to the mid-1990s. Back then, after several emotional school board meetings, the district essentially wiped gay people out of the school health curriculum. There could be no discussion of homosexuality, even with regard to HIV and AIDS, and the school board adopted a formal policy that stated school employees could not teach that homosexuality was a "normal, valid lifestyle."

Later the policy was changed to require school staff to remain neutral on issues of homosexuality if they should come up in class, a change that critics said fostered confusion among teachers and contributed to their inability to address bullying and harassment, or to even ask reasonable questions about some of the issues the kids were struggling with, like sexual orientation.[article (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/michele-bachmann-teen-suicide?page=2)]

I don't know how common this kind of thing is around the country though, but if you do end up somewhere like it I hope you find a way to do the right thing.

-ty-
September 23rd, 2011, 09:07 AM
Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when unwanted sexual touching, comments, and/or gestures are so bad or occur so often that it interferes with your schoolwork, makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe at school, or prevents you from participating in or benefiting from a school program or activity. This type of harassment does not have to involve a threat or promise of benefit in exchange for a sexual favor. The harassment can be from your teacher, school officials, or other students.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 includes hostile environment sexual harassment in federal law.

Although this should be good enough to hold the school responsible for improper handling of bullying based off sexual orientation, it doesn't have enough teeth to it. State laws should mandate a procedure in order to deal with the harassment, if none is taken, then the school should be liable for anything that happens as a result of not handling the harassment correctly, however, the federal government should not be too involved with this or other educational policies.

This type of harassment goes beyond free speech protection, because it takes away someone else's liberties whether it be educational or psychological.

Arago
September 23rd, 2011, 09:15 AM
Zero tolerance policies in schools are absolutely ridiculous. There is no follow through or anything. Bullying obviously starts (a lot of the time) in school. And when someone is bullied, the worst that I find happens in most schools is a meeting with the principle and a slap on the wrist. No disciplinary action or anything. There is no record added to the student's profile or anything of the sort. Nothing to make students sit there, thinking about what they do, and say to themselves "Wow. I'm an *******."

I think if schools were more forceful against bullying of any kind then things would get done a lot better, and it will branch out to the community, and then to the state, and then to the nation. It's as simple as the principle clearly stating that they won't tolerate that kind of behavior in their classrooms or their hallways or their lot at all and action will be taken against those who behave in such a manner. Most teachers just turn a blind eye at this kind of behavior, which is disgraceful.

FreakyLocz14
September 23rd, 2011, 12:27 PM
So basically what you're saying is that every single school should make the same rule instead of an overarching rule that says the same thing?

If there were consequences for teachers and administrators not doing something about it due to a law, then while of course not every single person would comply, but more would. It's about helping as many people as possible, not saying "this won't work 100%, so let's just do nothing instead!"

What Gaga is proposing goes beyond school sanctions. She wants to make it a crime that you can be arrested and imprisoned for. Doing that to kids who might have said some unpleasant things is plain wrong in my book.

Arago
September 23rd, 2011, 12:46 PM
What Gaga is proposing goes beyond school sanctions. She wants to make it a crime that you can be arrested and imprisoned for. Doing that to kids who might have said some unpleasant things is plain wrong in my book.
I'm pretty sure she isn't looking to make a law to throw a kid in jail for calling someone fat; just that there should be consequences for people who think it's okay to bully someone for who they are.

Oryx
September 23rd, 2011, 12:55 PM
What Gaga is proposing goes beyond school sanctions. She wants to make it a crime that you can be arrested and imprisoned for. Doing that to kids who might have said some unpleasant things is plain wrong in my book.

The child that 'may have said some unpleasant things' caused someone to take their own life. By your logic, should there be no laws against verbal harassment, because of the First Amendment? What about verbal abuse? It's the same as physical abuse, it just harms the mind instead of the body. If a child is bullying another child, they should be punished, not just ignored because 'it's just words' while we allow good people who happened to be born different in a bigoted society to be tortured psychologically until they kill themselves.

I can't find any information about the law that she's proposing specifically though. If you have any more information than "she wants a law against bullying", can you please link to it? Otherwise there's not much to go on there as far as discussing the specific law she wants enacted.

Mario The World Champion
September 23rd, 2011, 01:23 PM
Hearing about another kid who killed themselves because of bullying makes me sick. And the fact that some people turned a blind eye to it is even worse. Schools are just ignoring the problem.

I was there. I was bullied greatly during my school years, but I'm still here. I think bullying is much worse nowadays because of technology, since they can easily harass the person more effectively. It doesn't matter of you're gay, straight, fat, skinny, poor or anything. If you're different for some reason, you might as well wear a sign that says "I'm different! Please make my life a living hell and I might kill myself later."

Will there be any change? I really don't think so. We got a lot of ******** going on in this country that any attempt to do right will be ignored. What will make people think twice about bullying and hopefully make efforts to stop it?

A bullied kid brings guns into school and kills anybody within their crosshairs. That might do it.

FreakyLocz14
September 23rd, 2011, 01:35 PM
The child that 'may have said some unpleasant things' caused someone to take their own life. By your logic, should there be no laws against verbal harassment, because of the First Amendment? What about verbal abuse? It's the same as physical abuse, it just harms the mind instead of the body. If a child is bullying another child, they should be punished, not just ignored because 'it's just words' while we allow good people who happened to be born different in a bigoted society to be tortured psychologically until they kill themselves.

I can't find any information about the law that she's proposing specifically though. If you have any more information than "she wants a law against bullying", can you please link to it? Otherwise there's not much to go on there as far as discussing the specific law she wants enacted.

I went by what the OP said. He said that she wants to make it a hate crime. I know perfectly well what a hate crime is. It punishes people for their thoughts and beliefs rather than just their actions.

Verbal abuse is a civil issue, not a criminal issue. The Constitution guarantees us free speech. It doesn't guarantee us the right to not be offended by someone's exercise of free speech [Snyder v. Phelps].

How someone reacts to my speech is beyond my control. I can't control whether they will harm themselves over it or not.

There is a tort action one can bring called intentional infliction of emotional distress (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress)). That law provides remedy for this type of bullying.

Arago
September 23rd, 2011, 01:45 PM
I went by what the OP said. He said that she wants to make it a hate crime. I know perfectly well what a hate crime is. It punishes people for their thoughts and beliefs rather than just their actions.

Verbal abuse is a civil issue, not a criminal issue. The Constitution guarantees us free speech. It doesn't guarantee us the right to not be offended by someone's exercise of free speech [Snyder v. Phelps].

How someone reacts to my speech is beyond my control. I can't control whether they will harm themselves over it or not.

There is a tort action one can bring called intentional infliction of emotional distress (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress)). That law provides remedy for this type of bullying.
Which is the purpose of so many people trying to change it and make hate speech unlawful, but thanks for (once again) blindly informing us of our constitutional rights! Much appreciated, insightful, and contributive. Someone can tort the behavior of others all they'd like, but the scars that are left behind from that emotional distress cannot be cured by going to court.

FreakyLocz14
September 23rd, 2011, 01:53 PM
Which is the purpose of so many people trying to change it and make hate speech unlawful, but thanks for (once again) blindly informing us of our constitutional rights! Much appreciated, insightful, and contributive. Someone can tort the behavior of others all they'd like, but the scars that are left behind from that emotional distress cannot be cured by going to court.

Making "hate speech" illegal is a massive attack on freedom of speech. Maybe (and that's a big maybe) a law criminalizing directed intentional verbal abusive would pass constitutional muster, but a broad law criminalizing all "hate speech" would surely fail. It's just plain wrong. The government has no business regulating what people can and can't say.

Yoshikkko
September 23rd, 2011, 03:31 PM
It's terrible, and it probably could have been prevented. I don't know anything about the case, so I don't know if the school took any action or if they didn't see it at all, but. I think that's also a problem. A lot of schools seem to notice it only when it is already too late, don't notice it at all, or in some cases even ignore it. But that aside. I don't know if I agree with there being a law for this, I just don't know if that's the right answer. It just seems broken in so many ways.

Also, you say that you support equal rights for LGBT people, but in this case they have equal rights. You can't bully LGBT people, just as much as you can't bully others. It has nothing to do with their sexual preference - at that point that's not what matters. Whether you bully someone for their sexuality or the way they dress, it's both wrong and I think it is equally bad. It is not the reason for which someone is bullied, that hurts the most, it is, obviously, the fact that they are bullied, and that's mostly the same in all cases. I don't think this should be seen as worse just because this boy was homosexual. That was probably off-topic but still.

Jak
September 23rd, 2011, 03:38 PM
Just because we have freedom of speech in America, it doesn't mean it should dictate our judgement and treatment of other people. Whatever happened to "if you can't say anything nice, don't say nothing at all"?

2Cool4Mewtwo
September 23rd, 2011, 03:58 PM
Sad news, no doubt about that, but what's even more sad is that I've become semi-nonchalant with kids committing suicides because they've been constantly bullied. It just happens too often for me to care. I do think something should be done about bullying and discrimination in general, though.

Mr. X
September 23rd, 2011, 05:09 PM
I have no respect for this kid, because he took the cowards way out.

No matter what is happening, suicide is not the answer.

Oryx
September 23rd, 2011, 05:24 PM
I have no respect for this kid, because he took the cowards way out.

No matter what is happening, suicide is not the answer.

You have not experienced every situation that makes someone want to take their own life. When you get down to it, we're all ignorant of the lives of other people; we may know the events that happen, but we can't possibly know all their feelings or their state of mind. You're right, suicide isn't the answer in any situation. That doesn't mean that someone who has committed suicide doesn't deserve respect; that just means that the person should be pitied for his state of mind when he did it.

To claim that someone doesn't deserve respect because they felt that they had no other choice than to take their own life is horrible tbh. It's on par with saying someone who's depressed doesn't deserve respect because he can't get over his problems, or someone who's mentally handicapped doesn't deserve respect because he can't pass the same classes as people who were blessed with average or above average intelligence.

Jak
September 23rd, 2011, 06:06 PM
I have no respect for this kid, because he took the cowards way out.

No matter what is happening, suicide is not the answer.

As someone with clinical depression and who has been suicidal, I cannot respect you for this statement. I find it rude to not only myself, but to the boy in question here. I agree that suicide is not the answer, but that is no reason to disrespect the boy.

Zet
September 23rd, 2011, 06:13 PM
It's a shame that he never got to live his life and I hope something is done about the bullies who pushed him to do what he did.

R.I.P. Jamey Rodemeyer, you're in a better place now.

Zet
September 23rd, 2011, 06:32 PM
Depression is a medical condition.
Mental retardation is a medical condition.

Suicide is a choice.

As for mentally handicapped people, I respect them a lot. Know why? They got delt a bad hand of cards in the game of life but even then they keep playing and manage to suceed at life.

This kid? He got delt a bad hand and decided that he didn't want to play anymore, even though eventually he would have won a hand. He decided to fold. Permantly.
And some people who get bullied don't speak up and are thrown into the pit of despair with no other choice. :/

Honestly do you know anything about bullying and suicide at all?

-Jared-
September 23rd, 2011, 06:36 PM
His poor family must be so sad right now...my prayers and condolences go out to them. I hope people learn from this and alter their behavior so that others don't get hurt like poor Jamey. ;-;

Lance
September 23rd, 2011, 06:45 PM
You all better behave here before I start handing out infractions. Drop it. The rest of you ignore it, and carry on. I will say it this one time. Next deleted post will be an infraction.

-ty-
September 23rd, 2011, 06:59 PM
The Phelps case is not pertinent to this issue.

Harassment and hate speech are different.

The federal law states sexual harassment is illegal in schools. This includes making demeaning sexual comments that lead to a person's inability to achieve proper education.

Furthermore, what are the damages?

In the Phelps case their was emotional distress for the family - not death. (also, this was a CIVIL case that involved monetary compensation, not criminal, seeking criminal conviction)

In this case, the actions may have caused the death of a child. This is not a CIVIL case, the perpetrators would be charged of criminal offenses. If it can be proven that the actions caused more than emotional distress - death.

I think we need to ask ourselves how we can prevent this through legal means in a way that is Constitutional and effective in order to address this issue.

Mr. X
September 23rd, 2011, 07:09 PM
If calling a person gay, based upon their sexual perference, is a sexual harrassment then does this mean that calling a person a female, based upon their gender, is also sexual harrassment?

I would point out the case of OJ Simpson as a example of a criminal matter turned civil. They were not able to convict in a criminal trial, but they suceeded in a civil trial.

As for the trial in general, it will be hard to convict mainly because its not known just what specific comment caused him to suicide. Convicting a person for talking to a person who later killed themselves is just like convicting a gun store owner of murder just because he sold the gun. The similaity is that they most likey had no idea what would later occur.

Lance
September 23rd, 2011, 07:11 PM
Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves. And you know who you are. What I just read in this thread is disgusting and morally reprehensible. I shouldn't have to be hounded online by reports from this thread. You have ruined it for everyone else - I'm going to stop it before it gets worse and before tempers flare even more than they already have here.


*Locked*