Local teen committed suicide after years of bullying

Anti-Bullying Awards Named After Rodemeyer

May 18, 2013 Updated May 18, 2013 at 7:29 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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May 18, 2013 Updated May 18, 2013 at 7:29 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) A year and a half after 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life after years of bullying, the teen's family stood outside the Lorraine Academy in South Buffalo to present anti-bullying awards named after Jamey.

"Basically my son, leaving this world at fourteen and a half years old, he has taught me I think more than I've ever taught him. And I used to tell him it takes a lot to make a difference in this world and come to find out that's exactly what he has done," Jamey's mother Tracy said.

"It's just amazing what he's caused and what he started, and I get speechless when I get asked that question because I am very proud of him,"
Jamey's father Tim added.

It was part of the first ever Bully Free 5k, an early morning race and fundraiser to raise money for anti-bullying school programs, to advance the message of acceptance that Jamey preached.

"When you have children who are committing suicide over bullying, we have to get the message out there. And Jamey's not the only one. If we can get just one kid to realize that if they stand up to somebody else, it could be potentially save their life," event coordinator and teacher Kelly Gasior said.

8th grader Zachary Holewka received one of the "Jamey Rodemeyer Active Bystander" awards. The young teen says he was a victim of bullying, but decided to do something about it.

"Whenever I saw bullying I just reported it to the nearest teacher," Holewka said, "No one should go through that. Students should have a safe environment to learn in the school building."

The future goal of the event is to grow to potentially a district-wide event in Buffalo Schools