It is every parent’s nightmare seeing their child getting bullied at school and knowing you can only do so much. What happens when it goes too far and kids commit suicide? Who should be held accountable, if anyone at all? Since, everyone has had an interaction with bullies, whether seeing someone bully, being the bully or being the victim it is becoming more common. Kids bully each other at school, the bus, the internet, on the phone and other ways. So my question is who should be held accountable for kids who have just had enough?
Jamey Rodemeyer was a freshman in high school who was bullied for years for being gay. Although he was getting tormented by other students, he still tried to help others who were getting picked on by saying, “it gets better”. After nine days of high school, he was found hanging in the backyard by his sister who is a junior.
Jamey made an account on Form springs to post blogs and you can receive anonymous responses back. He got hateful messages from fellow students that egged him on by saying, “Just kill your self already” or “We would be better with out you”. This is hurtful to hear no matter how old you are. Even after Jamey’s death, his sister started getting ridiculed. The night of the wake, his older sister Alyssa went to their high school homecoming dance and got made fun of for being there and bullies were saying that they are glad he’s dead. Even after his death, his family is still hearing these hurtful messages.
Jamey was a big fan of Lady Gaga and loved what she stood for and the acceptance of everyone, so in his last video, she got brought up. When hearing what happened to Jamey, Lady Gaga dedicated a song to him, made a strong statement by saying bullying should be illegal and that she will be talking to the president about this important matter. Jamey impacted the lives of people he knew and even those who don’t know him, he is already making a difference.
So, what can be done with these bullies, because Jamey isn’t the first or the last victim of a hateful crime. At the event Lady Gaga brought up to President Obama how bad bullying is becoming, directly relating it to suicide. Lady Gaga is taking a great step by saying it should be illegal and that someone must be held accountable. It makes sense that it should be considered a hate crime, because a hate crime are crimes that gets motivated by hate of a member of a group whether it be gender, sexual orientation or race. Although, hate crimes are a physical crime that one does to another, it should also include suicide, especially in Jamey’s case.
Another way to help decrease bullying is to have teachers trained on how they handle bullying issues and reviewing and changing some bullying protocols. A different way could be having open communication with parents and teachers so kids don’t feel the need to hold all this in. These little steps can save lives.
Bullying can relate to what we are talking about in class because we talked about Deontological Theory which is moral obligation. The ones who witness bullying should ultimately go to a teacher or stand up for what is right. Although it is hard to do, it is the right thing to do and that should be all that matters. When in terms with the bullies, they have done the exact opposite of which we learned about in class, including Utilitarianism theory, principle of beneficence and the greatest happiness principle. They ‘disobeyed’ the utilitarianism theory whether by knowing or not thinking of the consequences of ones actions and thinking they will not be important. Regardless of what these bullies thought, they taunted Jamey and ultimately had a big contribution to his death. With beneficence, the bullies did not do any good, and they promoted and provoked harm. The bully’s hurtful words prior to Jamey’s death had a big impact on his daily living and couldn’t take it any longer. Last of all, the greatest happiness principle, which was definitely not the case. The actions the bullies took were intolerable and malicious by not only insulting Jamey but his sister as well. Not only Jamey and his family were affected by his death but now millions heard of Jamey and it will be one step at a time until bullying becomes illegal.