It’s still happening and won’t end until we do more to stop it.
Kameron Jacobsen, a freshman at Monroe Woodbury High School in Orange County, NY took his own life this week after excruciating bullying and teasing through his facebook page.
According to MyFoxNY, sources said that Kameron was tormented by facebook bullies who taunted him over what they thought was his sexual orientation.
Facebook issued a statement about the incidents: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of these students, and our hearts go out to their family and friends. These cases serve as a painful reminder of how people can help others who are either bullied or show signs of distress on Facebook. We encourage them to notify us, and we work with third party support groups including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to reach out to people who may need help. Our Safety Center also contains resources on how to help people who are in danger of harming themselves. These deaths are a loss to many, and it’s critical that we all work together to give hope to teens who may be feeling similarly.”
There are few details about who Kameron was available online right now and it’s very upsetting. No fewer than three R.I.P. facebook pages have been set up in his name and hundreds are joining in. While this is moving to see that this young man touched so many people – we clearly did not do enough to stop him from taking his own life.
While It Gets Better is an incredible project, no doubt making a difference in people’s lives, we need to be doing more than making videos. We can no longer be sitting around and waiting for people to reach out for help, because the truth of the matter is, many kids don’t and many feel they can’t.
Kameron had 670 friends on facebook. Of those 670 friends, at least a few of them noticed the anti-gay harrasment that was going on – as one of them pointed it out to the press. Perhaps someone spoke up and said something to Kameron – we don’t know. But it would certainly be a shame to find out that people noticed this tormenting on facebook and ignored it. How horrible would it be to know what he was going through and still let Kameron believe he had no other options. I hope for all our sakes, this wasn’t the case and that Kameron had some support.
Please – anyone who reads this – do more. If you see someone getting bullied on facebook, speak up – not to the bully but to the person being teased. Reach out to that kid because they most likely won’t reach out to you. You have no idea how big a difference a little support can make – you could save a life.