Another Gay Teen Lost to Bullycide: Rest in Peace, Phillip Parker, 14
Every time we lose another LGBT teen to bullycide, we suffer another setback in our efforts to end this malignancy plaguing the LGBT community. Phillip Parker, 14, ended his young life last week after enduring bullying over a period of time at his Gordonsville, Tennessee high school. Tennessee is also the state where Jacob Rogers succumbed to bullycide in early December and the same state that I wrote about, here, earlier in the month. You may recall that Tennessee lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that will allow bullying as long as it is for religious, philosophical, or political beliefs. We’re not going to let that happen. A petition needs to be up within the next 24 hours to present to the Tennessee legislation letting them know that we will no accept them sanctioning bullying against LGBT teens.
According to the news report, Phillip’s family had gone to the school administrators numerous times to report that he was being bullied. Nothing changed. No, I’m wrong. Things DID change. Things actually got worse for him. The bullying increased. Finally, he’d had enough.
Knowing about these tragedies isn’t nearly enough. What’s needed is a continued concerted effort of many people, loudly and strongly stating the message that “We’re mad as Hell, and we’re NOT gonna take it anymore!” Every state legislature needs to be heavily petitioned until there are very strongly-worded laws on the books that will protect EVERY teen from the horrors of bullying. The penalties for bullying need to be harsh. After all, the penalties against the families and friends of those who take their own lives because of bullying are as harsh as it gets. Further, school systems need to be penalized heavily for failure to a.) provide each student with a safe learning environment; and, b.) act upon complaints of bullying. No way should they be allowed a free pass when a family losses their loved ones.
It goes without saying that our deepest sympathies and heart-felt prayers go out to the family and friends of 14-year-old Phillip Parker. May you find peace in Paradise.