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

Felicia Garcia, 15, Death by Suicide

with 7 comments


It’s being called a case of bullying by some.  By others, it’s not bullying at all.  Either way, 15-year-old Felicia Garcia ended her life Wednesday, October 24th, as horrified schoolmates looked on.By her own admission, to a friend, Felicia had had consensual sex with several members of her high school football team Saturday at an after-game party.  Unfortunately, it didn’t end there.  Apparently, the boys told others about the encounter when they returned to school on Monday.  It was downhill from there.

According to new reports, Felicia had a troubled life even before last weekend’s events.  She was a foster child who’d frequently run away from home, having been reported missing 7 times in the past.  I would appear that there were some mental health issues involved that, perhaps, were not being properly addressed.

The question being asked now is “does what the boys did (by telling others about their sexual encounter with Felicia) constitute bullying.  Certainly, it’s nothing new that high school boys brag about their sexual conquests to their peers.  And, it isn’t as if they were making up lies and rumors and spreading them around the school.  By her own admission, this did happen, and it was consensual.  So, does that constitute being bullied?

I’m going to go on record as saying that this wasn’t a case of bullying.  Rather, in my opinion, it was a sad case of a troubled young girl who cried out for attention, couldn’t find it in her foster home (hence the repeated running away), so she found it wherever she could.  Sadly, “wherever she could” put her in exactly the wrong place at the right time.  And, stopping teenaged boys from bragging about their sexual encounters will prove to be as easy as we’re finding it to bring an end to the bullying.

Make no mistake:  this is an enormous tragedy.  Felicia Garcia was tormented.  She’d been tormented for quite some time.  What happened after Saturday’s football game was her last straw.  It’s deeply troubling that a 15-year-old even has a “last straw”!!!  Troubling as it may be, the fact of the matter is that they do have that “last straw”, and we’re seeing it manifested again and again and again.

On the facebook blog page, I was recently asked by two different concerned parents “what can I do to save our children”?  There’s no easy answer, to be sure.  However, I would say that a great starting place would be keeping a wide-open channel for honest dialogue.  Hone your listening skills so that you can actually hear what they’re saying to you.  We tell young people all the time, in this time of crisis, that they need to talk to someone.  They know when their words are falling on deaf ears.

In many cases, such as this one with Felicia Garcia, knowing and understanding issues like depression will save lives, as well.  There was a reason why she ran away from home frequently, did some of the other things she did, and ultimately ended her life.

A memorial for suicide victim Felicia Garcia

Felicia Garcia was a tortured soul.  But, the torture did come about because of Saturday’s party or the boys talking about their conquest.  The “torture” was already in place.  Undoubtedly, there were signs given that were apparently missed.  In hindsight, they’re usually clear as day.  We’ve got a lot of work to do.  As a society, we are failing the youth of today in a very frightening way.  They’re responding to our failure by ending their own lives.

May you now find peace, Felicia.

******************************SUICIDE IS NOT THE ANSWER!!!!******************************

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Befrienders

The Trevor Project

Enough is Enough: the blog page

Suicide Prevention

 

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7 Responses

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  1. We need God!!!! <3

    Jusivian Hernandez

    October 26, 2012 at 7:16 am

    • Where the fuck was God when all of these people with these issues were still alive? How about we stop playing the “God” card and start paying more attention to these kids. Seriously…

      Eric Harris

      October 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

  2. it doesn’t appear bullying was the cause, though the embarrassment of what the.idiot teenage boys did by telling everyone may have pushed her. regardless of her actions many kids, particularly teenagers., Don’t think about consequences. either way, this is a trtragic loss of another young life. My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.

    Cheryl McCann

    October 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

  3. I really don’t know if I agree that bullying was not an issue. Yes, she made a poor decision. And yes, the boys were bragging of the conquest. However, I’m sure that the backlash was brutal. Whether or not the bullying occurs because of a bad decision does not negate the fact that it is, indeed, bullying. Too many people feel they have the right to be self-righteous and judgmental. Especially younger people, when emotional maturity has not yet been reached, although it is beginning to be seen more and more in adults, as well. Tragic that such a young life was lost, without first being given a chance.

    Sherry Lewis Zilinsky

    October 27, 2012 at 1:07 am

  4. As an adoptive parent and foster parent, I just want to say, please don’t assume that her needs were not being met by the foster parents. Maybe they weren’t–but there are kids so damaged, some of them BORN so damaged, that the best parent or foster parent in the world isn’t able to turn them around. Believe me, we try. We dedicate our lives to trying. But sometimes even that isn’t enough.

    Carol

    October 27, 2012 at 6:44 am

    • Carol, I applaud you for your efforts. However, I must say that my personal experiences tells me that you’re an exception rather than the rule. And, I know of one other exception to the rule. All in all, however, I am not a fan of the foster system. I’ve seen, personally, too much damage done by the foster families. Hats off to you, though. The system needs more like yourself.

      Ron Kemp

      October 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

  5. [...] felicia-garcia [...]


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