Criminal investigation underway in bullied teen’s suicideAround the Nation, Top Highlights Thursday, September 29th, 2011
NEW YORK – Police have opened a criminal investigation in the suicide death of Buffalo, N.Y., 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who was bullied online with gay slurs for more than a year, reported ABC News.
A student at Williamsville North High School, Jamey had been tormented for the past 12 months by cyberbullies who made disparaging comments with gay references on his Formspring account, a Web site that allows anonymous posts.
“JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND [sic] UGLY. HE MUST DIE!” one post said, according to local reports. Another read, “I wouldn’t care if you died. No one would. So just do it 🙂 It would make everyone WAY more happier!”
Friends reported the bullying to guidance counselors. But everyone, including his mother, thought he had grown stronger.
The Buffalo News reported that in the months prior to his death, he routinely blogged about school bullying and thoughts of suicide in between upbeat posts about his pop star idol Lady Gaga.
Sept. 8, he wrote, “No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you’re the ones calling me [gay slur] and tearing me down.”
Saturday, Sept. 17, he posted a lyric from Lady Gaga’s song “The Queen” on his Facebook page, “Don’t forget me when I come crying to heaven’s door.”
Then around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, Jamey posted two final messages to his main public Tumblr blog. One said he really wanted to see his great-grandmother, who had recently died, and one offered thanks to Lady Gaga.
That was Jamey’s last entry.
His mother, Tracy Rodemeyer, told the Buffalo News, “He touched so many hearts, so many people. I didn’t realize how many people he touched. He was the sweetest, kindest kid you’d ever know. He would give all his heart to you before he gave any to himself.”
ABC News reported that the Amherst Police Department’s Special Victims Unit has said it will determine whether to charge some students with harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes.
“The special victims unit is looking into the circumstances prior to his death,” Captain Michael Camilleri said. “We are not sure if there is anything criminal or not.”
No bullying laws exist in New York state, according to Camilleri, so police would have to determine whether aggravated harassment charges fit this case.
Lady Gaga, enraged by Jamey’s death, entered the furor surrounding the suicide announcing on Twitter that she was meeting with President Obama to address the problem. She Tweeted, “I am meeting with our president. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it.”
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