In another recent report about teenage bullying by reporter Anderson Cooper, we learned that bullying is, in fact, still pervasive in this nation. Beyond its widespread nature, bullying is also extraordinarily damaging to America’s social structure and psyche. Anderson Cooper’s video on CNN told the story of Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old young man who recently committed suicide after years of relentless bullying since he came out as a bisexual. Rodemeyer’s peers did not accept his sexuality, and turned to bullying him.
In a personal video created for writer Dan Savage’s anti-bullying site, It Gets Better, Rodemeyer stated that “[bullying] gets better.” This temporarily uplifting statement for those suffering from bullying was shot down after Rodemeyer committed suicide Sept. 19. If this is not a wake-up call to Americans concerning bullying and sexual acceptance, then I do not know what is.
Bullying in any form or fashion due to race, sexuality, gender or anything has to cease. A suicide at any age is indeed terrible, but when someone is only 14 years old and commits suicide due to bullying about his sexual orientation, it definitely hits home. Rodemeyer’s story of bullying and his subsequent suicide has struck the hearts and minds of many Americans, including myself.
Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide adds to a list of too many young people who have committed suicide due to bullying at school and over the Internet. Even if someone feels that homosexuality is wrong, bullying is decidedly unacceptable behavior in our supposedly moral and upright culture.
A nationwide stance has to be taken against bullying in any shape or form. Teenage suicides and bullying simply have to stop.
Danny Peters is a senior psychology major from Fort Worth.