Bullycide Victims: Those That We Might Not Have Heard About
Some You Hear About, Other's You Don't
We are used to news feeds on our online world and it doesn't occur to us that we aren't hearing about these suicides that have been linked to bullying. We have seen Amanda Todd, Megan Meirs, and Kristina Calcos pictures and a blurb pop up on our recommended or news feed and find the stories heartbreaking. We have different emotions and we may leave a comment or two and do that whenever we notice. Some may catch it on the nightly news and shake their head hoping their teenager never has to go through this ordeal.
There are stories that never leave the town's local media. Those children there hasn't been much released about the tragedy and we may not know what happens to the bullies. These children are getting swept under the rug and to no ones fault really. Maybe parents are not letting information out because we have seen the kids bullied even in death online and some families may not want their names and their child's picture going viral and hitting mainstream media online.
Here are some of the victims that I haven't heard of and couldn't find much information about. They deserve to be remembered too. More that we get out there maybe more people will get angry. Do something to help stop more kids from dying.
- Dalton Lee Walker Obituary archives Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV
Dalton Lee Walker, age 12, of McNutt Avenue, Princeton, was met by both great-grandfathers, his great-aunt, his cousin and his great-great-grandmothe
Dalton Lee Walker
In Princeton West Virginia, in March of 2012, a 12-year-old at Princeton Middle School died of self inflicted injury. That boy was Dalton Lee Walker.
When the police spoke with Dalton's mother she had told them he had been bullied at school and she had been down there several times to speak to them about the issue. This lead to an investigation into the boy's suicide. When the investigation is completed there will be discussion as to if their will be any prosecution.
In April, the investigation was still underway.
There was a new policy that was being introduced called, "Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools." There is a new organization as well that is getting ready for its next meeting, Mercer County Parents and Students Against Bullying. They are getting ready for their first major event and plan on meeting monthly.
At Dalton's vigil, his sister spoke on behalf of his family and told the gathered crowd,
“Dalton would be happy he is bringing change to the schools, and he would not want anyone to be sad anymore. He only wants you to have happy memories (of him).”
There was a crowd of 150 to honor and remember Dalton, but also to stand united against bullying. Each attendee was given a candle and when it was dark they all sang, "Time of My Life".
There isn't much information that has hit the media on the logistics of the death of Dalton. The community is grieving and doing what they can so no other children will feel like they need to kill themselves. The investigation conclusive findings have not yet been released and if there are any further updates, this hub will be updated.
Sexual Orientation Role in Teen's Suicide
Lance Lundsten was 18-years-old and lived in Miltona, Minnesota and his death was an "apparent suicide" according to the local sheriff's office.
Lance was openly gay, according to his social networking website, Facebook.
Friend's of Lance confirmed that he was a victim of bullying due to his sexual orientation. Some students believe that his suicide was due to being bullied for being gay.
Senator Al Franken offered his condolences to the family, stating his suicide was a "tragic event" for the family, the school, and the community. He spoke out that "LGBT kids really do need our protection." The Senator gave statistics to his audience that those who are of a different sexual orientation are 2-3 times more likely to be a victim of bullying. 9 in 10 LGBT students state they have been bullied for their sexual orientation and over 2/3rds don't feel safe in school.
Later the teen's father reported that he died of an enlarged heart, but the coroner had stated that he did have a slight enlarged heart, yet that wasn't the cause of death and it was ruled an apparent suicide.
13-year-old Bullied to Death for Being Gay
Seth Walsh was only 13-years-old when he committed suicide. Shawn, his 11-year-old brother spoke about his brother, Seth, at the funeral held in California in 2010. He talked about the bullying his brother endured, and it was quoted as being "heartbreaking". Seth was openly gay and even though Shawn was two years younger, felt that he had to protect his brother. His quote that really hit my heart was, " I just wish people could have been nice to him like my mom taught me."
No one, even his little brother, could protect Seth from the bullying he endured and the chronic teasing.
The family noted that even before Seth had "come out" he had been teased for the way he dressed and for his mannerisms. That the bullying is what sent their son over the edge where to him, killing himself was the only option.
His mother, Wendy, is a single mother and came home on September19, 2010 to her son being unconscious. Seth had tried to hang himself from their backyard tree after another incident of being bullied.
The sad thing is that Seth didn't know how many people loved him and that would say they were his friend, and that included people from their church. The pastor stated that he had so many friends they couldn't even be contained in their church building. At the service, Wendy didn't speak, but cried on her father's shoulders. Sitting next to them was his younger brother Shawn and his older brother, Shane who was 17-years-old.
Wendy did write the eulogy that the pastor administered to the congregation and gathered friends and families.
"He was a blessing to us and all who knew him, a lesson to the world on how to treat one another."
Seth's grandparents claimed that he had to be home schooled on two different occasions. By 4th and 5th grade Seth was already being bullied for being gay and hadn't "come out". It was all speculative and based on his mannerisms and dress. But, by 6th grade the children were getting more and more mean. In 7th grade he was afraid to walk home because of the harassment.
Seth's bullying transcended all forms of bullying: text messaging, the Internet, face-to-face, threats etc.
The breaking point for Seth was an incident in the park, but when he returned home he had been acting like himself, normal. After a shower, Seth borrowed a pen from his mom and then said he was going to go play with the dogs. His mother later found him hanging from the tree and desperately tried to revive her son. Even before she started to try to revive him, she recalls that "his soul was already gone."
Even the emergency response team that arrived tried to desperately revive the 13-year-old and helivaced him to the local hospital, but it was futile. He spent some time on life support before he died.
There was an investigation into his death by the local law enforcement agencies. They did confirm that they were looking into "hazing and harassment" because of the child's sexuality.
All Seth ever tried to do, his mother said, is promote love.