ronkempmusic

Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

Drew Ferraro, 15, Dead of Bullycide

with 4 comments


My band played “The Struggle” tonight with the usual zest.  I made it through the whole song without breaking down at some point, which happens especially when we perform it after a recent teen suicide.  It had been relatively calm for the past week or so.  I said to one of my best friends, biggest fans, and occasional reader of the blog that it has been quite for a week or so, and that had me cautiously concerned.  Then, I return home from another triumphant show only to get the news.

Friday, February 11th, 15-yer-old Drew Ferraro succumbed to bullycide.  According to one of Drew’s friends, “he was a funny, clever kid who played football and loved heavy metal music and gigs”.  Said another friend, “he was definitely bullied and he didn’t want to go to school”.

The sad irony is that his suicide came mere hours before the release of the very powerful song and video, “It Does Get Better”, done by some of the best lesbian talent that the U.K. has to offer.  Seeing that video, hearing that song, albeit not heavy metal, could’ve very well saved Drew’s life.  We’ll never know.

It’s imperative that everyone has resources readily available in the event that you’re faced, eye-to-eye, with a potentially dangerous situation.  Intervention works wonders, and it saves lives.

Wipeout Homophobia on facebook has a wonderful Suicide Support page

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Knowing the signs of depression early on can be a very useful tool.

To the traumatized schoolmates and friends of Drew’s who witnessed this event, please seek help.  Sorting through this will be extremely difficult on your own.  To the family of this young man, we wish you our heartfelt condolences.  May you rest in Paradise, Drew Ferraro.

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4 Responses

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  1. Ron- while I applaud your efforts to prevent gay teen suicide, it needs to be said that Drew was NOT gay. He was teased for his small stature. I’m sure this was unintended, but by posting on this blog about preventing gay teen suicide and talking about how lesbian music may have helped him, you have led people in our community to believe he was gay. His family is hurting enough to have another rumor started.

    Osser Pusser

    February 15, 2012 at 5:17 am

    • Osser,

      I try very, very hard to convey to those who read my blog that it isn’t just about gay teens. The teen suicide epidemic we’re seeing right now is hitting everyone, gay and straight alike. I’ve been correcting people who make comments implying that Drew was gay. I am so very sorry if this blog is causing his family added duress. Obviously, that is not my intention.

      The reference to the lesbians’ single is the message that it conveyed about things getting better. I feel that is a universal message for any struggling teen, gay or straight. You may email me directly and let me know if you or the family would rather I just take this blog entry down. I will do it immediately upon your word. The last thing in the world I want is for them to have to go through further duress. Thank you.

      ronskemp

      February 15, 2012 at 5:48 am

      • Ron-I don’t think it’s necessary to take it down. You are doing a great service here for gay and non-gay teens alike, and Drew’s death should not be in vane. Just be sure that when you post here, you’re not helping further to rumors of homosexuality about some teens by the many references to it on your site. Lord knows, being called gay (or being gay) is hard enough when a child is alive.

        Our small community is in shock, but we are healing and dealing with not only Drew’s death but with the fact that so many people witnessed it or know people who did. This is a suicide whose ripples reach farther and wider than most because of the very public nature of the act and the aftermath. His anguished mom is trying to convince the police and school officials–who have announced publicly that bullying was not a factor–that just because he didn’t mention bullying in his suicide note, that it was a real problem for him. He didn’t want to go to school. Now, sadly, he doesn’t have to. Thank you for what you do here on this blog.

        Osser Pusser

        February 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm

        • Greetings Osser,

          If you’re sure that it’s ok to leave that blog up, I will. I could, however, edit it to punctuate that Drew was not gay. I’ve found it unfortunate, myself, that so many of my readers are quick to jump to the conclusions that every teen suicide is because of bullying (some are from things like depression) and that every teen I write about is gay or lesbian. I’ve changed the intro to my page to reflect that the articles I write will deal with all teen suicides, not just gay teen suicide. They’re all tragic.

          I’m pleased that you appreciate my efforts. I just had enough of reading about gay teen suicides and figured that I had to get deeper involved in trying to find a solution. The deeper involved I became, the more I realized that it’s by no means just a gay teen issue; rather, it’s a full-blown epidemic that’s affecting everyone! And, of course, I’m a bullying survivor(http://ronskemp.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/why-it-matters-to-me/), myself, as well as a survivor of suicide attempts(http://ronskemp.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/my-own-suicide-attempts/). So, I speak from my own experiences, as well.

          Drew’s suicide grabbed my attention immediately because of where you’re living. I lived very near there, in Glendale, myself for a while. I still have friends there in the area, actually. Of course, I lived there well before Drew was born. I wish the family, friends, and community all the best as they begin the healing process. It will, indeed, be a very long process.

          Ron S. Kemp

          ronskemp

          February 16, 2012 at 2:42 am


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