|Jamey Rodemeyer, dead at 14.|
It's still not okay that this boy is dead, but he doesn't have to have died in vain.
A week ago today I published a blog post about 14 year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, the gay teenage boy who, despite putting up a good fight, ultimately chose to end his own life. I wanted to provide a quick update to Jamey's story, and again, ask you to do what you can, indeed what you should, to help put an end to the kind of hate and bullying that plagued Jamey throughout his short life.
Linked here is a short interview Jamey's parents did with Ann Curry on the Today Show this week. I was flabbergasted by a story they tell about Jamey's sister and the ongoing hate and bullying she has endured at her school (where Jamey also attended). I am beyond disappointed and disgusted.
If you think these things eventually take care of themselves, that children will eventually learn on their own to respect those who are different from them, you are wrong. We must actually DO something. It's really very simple - we must set the right example for our children in how we talk about others, and we must never let them think that it's okay to hate someone, just because they are different.
Hurtful words and taunting are not small matters to children. Bullying damages kids profoundly, it scars them deeply and permanently. If someone is teaching children that it's okay to hate, you must challenge them. Try to help them understand the impact of their words and actions. If you actually witness hateful speech or harmful taunting directed at a child (even if it's delivered by a child), you must speak up and you must stop it.
That's me on my soapbox. I hope you watch the video with Jamey's parents and I hope it makes a difference.