Teen Suicide Brings School Bullying to Forefront

September 20, 2011 Updated Sep 20, 2011 at 9:21 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Kyla Igoe

...
September 20, 2011 Updated Sep 20, 2011 at 9:21 PM EDT


Williamsville, NY (WKBW)- Williamsville North High School students were notified on Monday that 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, a freshman, had died. Rodemeyer's parents tell Eyewitness News Jamey took his own life over the weekend and was tormented for years by bullies. Rodemeyer was allegedly being taunted by others because of his struggle with his sexual orientation. His parents say the bullying was so bad in middle school friends notified counselors.

"Bullying needs to stop," said Tim Rodemeyer, Jamey's Father. "People need to stop brushing it aside, It doesn't need to happen."

"What they did to that boy was so unnecessary and so wrong. You don't put other people down," said Jessica Ramani, one of Jamey's Friends.

Jayme did seek help for his struggles and the constant harrassment transformed him into an anti-bullying advocate. In May, he posted a YouTube video explaining his situation, telling others facing the same challenges to keep their heads held high. The video was in response to Lady Gaga's 'Speak Your Mind Campaign', who was inspiring people who are being bullied for their sexuality that life will get better. Williamsville School District Superintendent Scott Martzloff says there is no tolerance for bullying in the district and there is a number of support programs for students.

"We were all teens once. High school is not an easy time and can be a lonely time, but we want to help our children get through that," added Martzloff.

School officials also encourage students struggling with similar bullying issues to come forward and seek help. Next month the district is hosting a parent forum on teen depression and suicide awareness. The event will be held on Tuesday, October 25 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Williamsville South High School. This forum is free and open to the public.