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Old 04-03-2009, 01:41 PM   #1
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Default Reading this makes me wonder

I'm only posting a portion of the entire article which you can read at this link.

Quote:
Teen Commits Suicide Due to Bullying: Parents Sue School for Son's Death
Family Wants No Money but Insists School Address Bullying and Three Other Suicides
By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES

April 2, 2009

Eric Mohat, 17, was harassed so mercilessly in high school that when one bully said publicly in class, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you," he did.

Now his parents, William and Janis Mohat of Mentor, Ohio, have filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying that their son endured name-calling, teasing, constant pushing and shoving and hitting in front of school officials who should have protected him.

The lawsuit -- filed March 27, alleges that the quiet but likable boy, who was involved in theater and music, was called "gay," "fag," "queer" and "homo" and often in front of his teachers. Most of the harassment took place in math class and the teacher -- an athletic coach -- was accused of failing to protect the boy.

"When you lose a child like this it destroys you in ways you can't even describe," Eric Mohat's father told ABCNews.com.

The parents aren't seeking any compensation; rather, they are asking that Mentor High School recognize their son's death as a "bullicide" and put in place what they believe is a badly needed anti-bullying program.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, names school administrators Jacqueline A. Hoynes and Joseph Spiccia, as well as math teacher Thomas M. Horvath. None would comment on the allegations.

Parents Say Three Other Students Killed Themselves

The Mohats also claim that bullying was a "significant factor" in the deaths of three other students in Eric Mohat's class in 2007.

Mentor high school officials confirmed that a girl and two other boys in Eric's class had killed themselves in 2007.

According to Janet Klee, a counselor at Chrysalis, a suicide survivors support group, who counseled two of the surviving families, the suicides were connected to bullying.

"These kids," said Klee, "were extremely bright, and [the bullies] thought they were nerds. I say that not in a derogative but in a good sense. These were good kids who were easy targets for bullying."

Dan Hughes, whose son Brandon was a friend of Eric's, said he had withdrawn his son from Mentor High School after he was relentlessly bullied. Brandon, now 19 and working, wrote a suicide note, citing the taunts, two weeks after Eric Mohat's death.

"What it boils down to is the football players, cheerleaders and kids with money have a different set of rules than everybody else," Hughes told ABCNews.com.

"It's not that much out of the ordinary, and the disturbing part is the school is more concerned about sweeping it under the rug than getting to the bottom of what's going on," he said.

Suicide-Bullying Connection

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimates that nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or a target of bullying.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which established the resource center after the Columbine shootings in 1999, every day an estimated 160,000 kids nationwide stay home from school because they are afraid of being bullied.

In addition, researchers at the Yale School of Medicine, in a new review of studies from 13 countries, have found signs of an apparent connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide.

Almost all found connections between being bullied and suicidal thoughts among children. Five reported that bullying victims were two to nine times more likely to report suicidal thoughts than were other children.

In October, 14-year-old Jeremiah Lasater, who had been taunted and even had food thrown at him during lunch, locked himself in his Acton, Calif., high school bathroom and shot himself in the head.

In 2006, a St. Louis 13-year-old killed herself in a cyberbullying case. After she was taunted over the Internet, Megan Meier hanged herself in the closet of her family's home. Friends later said the suicide was triggered by a message, "The world would be a better place without you."
I started reading this and didn't think much at first. Suicides are a common practice for victims of bullying. It's sad and something should be done, but again, life seems to go as usual. Then I read that there have been 3 other suicides in this kid's class in during the same year. To me that's 4 kids in total who had every reason to go to school and open fire killing everyone who hurt them so much.

Now think about the response if any of those kids carried out a school shooting. Suddenly everything is reversed and those suicidal kids are to blame and everyone questions "why, God, why did he choose those victims to shoot and kill? This must have been some kind of deranged psychopath we we're dealing with." Then the parents and friends of the victims would go on to say how much those kids loved life and were so kind.

I think we need to start digging deeper beyond blaming violent video games and assuming those who commit school shootings are mentally disturbed without consideration of outside stimulus that pushed them in that direction.

Or maybe it's easier to not give a shit and allow school shootings to continue to be a commonplace.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

Alright, I know I am going to get a lot of shit for what I am about to say but...

Ever since Darwin, there existed the hypothesis about the survival of the strongest. It applies to high school too. I shared this news story with my family and showed it to my brother.

Every teen goes through a stage in their life when hormones tend to overtake them, and everyone expresses it differently. However, do you honestly believe that the only reason this boy shot himself was due to the harassment?

EVERYONE gets teased in high school. Even the "football players, cheerleaders, and rich kids" make fun of each other. What separates this kid from everyone else is that he was prone to suicide in the first place. Hell, I was called all of those names and on plenty of occasions. I did not go home and shoot myself. He should have understood that if he wanted to pursue such hobbies, he would have to be stoic.

I'm going to cite an example of my own. Freshman year of high school, I did not really know anybody. I was a small kid, in Calc AB with a bunch of seniors, and I did get quite a bit of bullying. Guess what? You learn to adapt. I didn't walk around spouting off about differential equations to everyone I know, I fit in.

This kid's suicide is partially the fault of the bullyers, but none of that would have happened if he was strong enough to withstand their teasing. I wouldn't be so fast to blame the school and the teachers but instead would look at the way he was brought up. I am almost certain that his parents are caring and supportive people who let him pursue whatever interests he desired, but they failed to do something- they failed to prepare him for consequences that they knew he would face.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

The kids should have done more. I was bullied as a child. I used to have weight problems and my parents moved around every 6 months to a year. I always went to the teachers or my parents. It's sad to hear that the teachers didn't do anything. They really should be fired. It's their job to educate and protect the youth. Dealing with the real world is hard enough when you get out of high school, dealing with those types of kids in high school is just crazy to think about. I can't believe those kids weren't getting any sort of severe punishment.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

I am kinda in the middle here on this topic as well. I see how it is the bullies fault in a way as well as it is the parents fault as well. I feel that parents should be teaching their children that people will make fun of you for some decisions or things you do but that is not something to take personal. But the point that Thelis made about how EVERYONE gets picked on even the "football players, cheerleaders, and rich kids" the difference is they get picked on by a few people at most not everyone in the school. There is a difference when a few of your friends pick on you and when everyone in the school picks on you which makes you feel alone and when teachers allow it you really have nobody to turn to.

I know that it sucks getting picked on by everyone because growing up I was picked on alot and I lashed out in other ways such as figuring out ways to better myself and having hobbies that gave me an outlet. My parents taught me that people picking on you are just trying to be liked by everyone else and a good majority of them are going to fail at life so just look at the big picture and keep doing what I am doing and everything will turn out fine in the long run.

They also were there to talk to when people were bullying me so I didn't have to keep it all inside. Once I got into middle school though I started working out almost everyday and started to become bigger than most of the others in school so I was starting to get picked on less. Once you stand up for yourself the ridiculing stops and people go on to the next "easy target" looking for self gratification and trying to make themselves feel better than someone else. It took me all of smashing in 2 bullies faces for me to stop being picked on in middle school and was left alone for my entire high school years.

But as for the teachers that should never go on in a classroom whatsoever. If any teacher was present when this ridiculing was going on and did nothing to stop it they should be very severely reprimanded or even fired because it is their responsibility to maintain a safe learning environment.

Kids will be kids and will always pick on others to fill a void of some sort in their own life. Some of the kids will use it as a motivational tool to better themselves and some will use it as an excuse to kill themselves and take the easy way out. It is up to the parents to supply the skills to succeed in life even while being ridiculed by others.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

I completly disagree with you Thelis. Sure everyone may have a bit of teasing, but for some people the teasing is much more, often for no reason. It's extremely disturbing four kids from the same class have committed suicide. Homophobic bullying can really bother people, especially if they are gay and even make them hate themselves because of it. Suicide is never the right thing to do, but knowing what some people have put it with, who can really blame them? The bully(s) and teacher's in this case really need punishments, schools should be a place where that kind of bullying isn't at all tolerated and quickly gets people suspended.

And yes, I can see how people like this end up doing school shootings. They committed suicide thinking everyone was out to get them and that nobody liked them and that everyone was assholes, all it takes is a slightly more aggressive personality to go and kill everyone.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ-CHRIS View Post
Suicide is never the right thing to do, but knowing what some people have put it with, who can really blame them?
I agree with this, however if the kids did end up resorting to suicide then I believe that it is extremely ignorant to not take into account the fact that they themselves were predisposed to that sort of behavior.

Quote:
And yes, I can see how people like this end up doing school shootings. They committed suicide thinking everyone was out to get them and that nobody liked them and that everyone was assholes, all it takes is a slightly more aggressive personality to go and kill everyone.
I agree.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

The thing that pisses me off the most about this is that the school doesn't seem to want to do anything about it.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

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Originally Posted by Cabbs View Post
If 4 kids where driven to the point of killing themselves in the same year because of bullying, then something is definitely wrong. The thing that pisses me off the most about this is that the school doesn't seem to want to do anything about it.
I just want to know how bad a school can be. Four kids? That's ridiculous.

Just so everyone understands; I am not saying that nothing should be done, all I am saying is that as much as the bullying situation needs to be fixed so do the people that are driven to suicide need extra help.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

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Originally Posted by Thelis View Post
I just want to know how bad a school can be. Four kids? That's ridiculous.
Seriously. In my four years of high school I was never really bullied. Maybe teased by some kids messing around, but nothing I could really call bullying. I didn't see any bullying going on around me either.

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Originally Posted by Thelis View Post

Just so everyone understands; I am not saying that nothing should be done, all I am saying is that as much as the bullying situation needs to be fixed so do the people that are driven to suicide need extra help.
I agree.

I want to know if the suicides where because of the same group of kids. You would think they would take a hint, or maybe they just don't care. Maybe they just don't care, could be a really rough school.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Reading this makes me wonder

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Originally Posted by Cabbs View Post
Seriously. In my four years of high school I was never really bullied. Maybe teased by some kids messing around, but nothing I could really call bullying. I didn't see any bullying going on around me either.
I know what you mean. During my high school years I didn't see any of the petty immature bullying that this article speaks of happening to a 17 year old in his senior year. It was unheard of as far I know. If it did happen it was not at all obvious. I just assumed everyone grew out of it but apparently some don't in other places.

In response to Thelis, I completely understand where you're coming from. Life is full of difficulties and challenges that pretty much dictate, if you can't handle high school, then life will eat you alive. I know that probably from grades 7 - 10 i went through some of the most dramatic emotional changes and experiences that I have felt so far. It's tough, but I was fortunate to never have been bullied (although on occasion I've gone through what's considered routine "playing around" like everyone went through once in a while) or faced what this kid supposedly went through. For that reason I have a trouble relating but what I do remember is that life was already sometimes confusing and intolerable at some points without other kids at school constantly harassing you. Some people are weaker than others and I guess that's to be debated if we should set aside resources to help these individuals before suicide becomes an option. I don't really don't know what to suggest partly because I don't feel that I have the right to determine who deserves help and who doesn't
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