Battle Against Bullying

October 3, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 10:06 AM EDT

By WKBW News

...
October 3, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 10:06 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life over the weekend of September 18th. Family and friends said bullying was to blame, allegedly by students attending Williamsville North High School.

Reaction to this tragic story has touched the world.

When the news broke, Jamey's parents told Eyewitness News he suffered years of abuse as he struggled with his sexuality. They said he had suicidal thoughts since he was in fifth grade when the other kids began to pick on him.

On a day marked to call attention to the harm bullying can cause, Jamey's parents Tracy and Tim Rodemeyer appeared on Channel 7's "Eyewitness News at 6" with Keith Radford and Joanna Pasceri.

Keith and Joanna asked if they were shocked by the reaction the story has generated, with network television coverage, internet blogs, and even a response from President Obama. The Rodemeyers responded that ultimately something good has come from the tragedy. Tracy Rodemeyer stated that at the wake for Jamey, a young victim of bullying came forward to tell the family they had decided not to take their own life.

When Joanna Pasceri asked what they would like to see happen to the people who bullied Jamey, the family responded that they want to make sure the perpetrators are penalized to the fullest extent of the law.

Amherst Police have said the teens involved could face charged, as their investigation into who was part of the bullying that drove Jamey to end his life continues.

A student at Williamsville North has already been suspended after making remarks to Jamey's sister at a high school dance shortly after Jamey's funeral.

The Superintendent of the Williamsville School District is encouraging students to speak out about any bullying incidents. A video presentation from the Superintendent can be seen on the news links section of wkbw.com.

Jamey spoke out on line through the years, especially on his "Formspring" account. In response to his anti-hate postings, he received a lot of hate messages, all from anonymous sources.

Through this terrible abuse, Jamey did have support from his family and friends.

"All of Jamey's friends were there for him. They saw the struggle he went through every day so they went to the guidance counselors," Jamey's parents Tracy and Tim Rodemeyer said in an earlier interview.

In May, Jamey posted a video to YouTube, which had a positive message that things do get better. This was all part of a speak your mind campaign spearheaded by Jamey's favorite singer Lady Gaga.
Gaga also spoke out about Jamey's death saying that bullying is a hate crime.

Lady Gaga kept her promise, and met with President Obama, to make plead that bullying be made illegal.

Click the video to see the entire interview with Tracy and Tim Rodemeyer. Connect with the WNY Facebook page that wants to put an end to bullying on the news links section of wkbw.com