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

Bullying Claims Another: Rest in Peace Eden Wormer, Age 14

with 4 comments

I was certain that the respite wouldn’t last long.  It never does.  It’s usually the quiet before the next storm.

Wednesday, March 8, 14-year-old Eden Wormer ended her life in Vancouver, WA.  According to her family, it was a direct result of bullying.  Bullying that had been going on for 2 years.  Says her older sister, Audri, Eden tried everything she could think of to get the girls to stop bullying her.  They wouldn’t. 

Vancouver police say they have found no evidence to indicate the bullying rose to the level of a crime.  I read that twice to make sure I read it correctly.  So, to recap, a 14-year-old girl is dead as a direct result of being bullying; yet, the police say they found no evidence to indicate the bullying rose to the level of a crime.  No matter how many times I repeat that, it just sounds like I’m reading it wrong.  I can’t imagine those words escaping someone’s mouth.  Especially someone in authority.  Especially at a time when the family of the person who didn’t have the crime committed against her is grieving her death.

Sorry, I’m a little irritated right now.

Incredibly, the reporting news outlet found out about Eden’s suicide while talking to a 13-year-old boy from the same school who had allegedly been bullied.  Because of the bullying he endured, the same day that Eden ended her life, Izaya Hamilton ended up in the emergency room with a black eye, a bump on his head, and bruises on his shoulder.  More incredibly, the school officials “can’t talk about specific cases” but did go on record as saying that they “…take bullying seriously.”  Well, that’s obvious!  Izaya had to go to the emergency room; Eden won’t be coming back to school.  Or, going home to her loving family.

I wrote a post yesterday about a news story I’d just heard about the epidemic of teen smoking and how irate that made me become.  And, this is precisely why!  While teens are dying around the world on a daily basis, and at their own hands!, our officials are offering band-aids to a situation that calls for immediate and emergency action!!  Words are meaningless without action.

In my opinion, the first question that these officials, from school teachers and administrators straight through the police departments and on to the politicians!, is “why are you afraid to attack this issue!?”  They do the moonwalk around it seemingly every time.  In La Crescenta, the police reported there that 15-year-old Drew Ferraro “…hadn’t been bullied” before he ended his life.  And, there’s no doubt I could find more.  Does the uttering of those feeble words absolve them from any responsibilty?  If so, that has to change!

Words are meaningless without action.  It is totally unacceptable that on one day, one student from Cascade Middle School had to go to the emergency room because of injuries sustained from being bullied while another one surrendered her life.  They, as well as every other school administrator from shore-to-shore, from border-to-border, from one end of the globe to another, need to be put on notice:  WE are not going to tolerate this any longer.  And, then, WE need to take action!  WE need to hold their feet to the fire every single time it is revealed that a student is being bullied.  In the movie, Bully, a teacher goes on record saying “I’ve ridden that bus, and they’re as good as gold”.  Those words haunt me in my sleep!  Her image burned into my mind as she says it with such faux-conviction.  The boy who’d complained about being bullied on that bus is dead.  Suicide.

This issue…well, it would be redundant to tell you how real or how important it is.  They’re concerned about teens smoking cigarettes, as well they should be, and calling it an epidemic.  They’re watching teenager die, at their own hands, from being bullied, and reporting that “our investigation has found no evidence of bullying”.  I can’t be the only one who has a problem with this.

To Izaya Hamilton, give names.  Tell your teacher(s).  If that doesn’t work, tell the principal.  No luck there, go over their heads!  Go to the media if you have to.  Most importantly, though, never ever ever give up.

To the family and friends of Eden Wormer, my heart is with you as you struggle through this unimaginable time.


4 Responses

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  1. As a special education advocate, I too know that the level of bullying evident in our schools is astronomical. Some groups of peers in late elementary school through high school are trying to impress each other by stepping on those poor kids that are on the bottom socially. Why they are there is because of cruelty, mean spiritedness, and because adults do not teach kindness to their own children and school teachers look the other way. It is clear that we have groups of teens who coalesce to destroy the social regard for other kids.. There is no real reason.. except pure petty meanness. I run into shunned, teased , bullied and harassed situations each year with children with disabilities. each and every time it breaks my heart!

    Noreen Ringlein

    March 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm

  2. I completely agree. My son goes to school in Boulder, Colorado–and they have almost completely erradicated bullying. Sure, there are kids who want to bully. but the reprecussions are so severe and the mantra against bullying so consistent, that it really doesnt happen much anymore. If our school can achieve this, any can–and if bullying is a continual issue at a given school, I put the blame squarely on the teachers and adminstrators who turn a blind eye to the problem. I scoff at the school administrator in the video who says she is sure the teachers would have ‘talked to the students” if they knew about it. I submit this is completely inadequate. They must get aggressive about this issue and make it a charter of every employee of the school.

    Lindsay Lou Who

    March 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

  3. I am Eden’s aunt. I want to thank you all for your support in this trying time. Eden was pretty, smart, funnt, and loved by her family and friends. She was in turn devoted to them also. Tragedies like this have to stop. If you are being bullied, tell someone, anyone who will listen, parent, grandparents, school officials, your minister, and if none of these listen, tell the media. If you are the students who bullied my niece, or if not but you are bullying someone else, let this be a lesson to you. Bullying hurts, sometimes physically, but always emotionally and mentally. Eden’s pain has stopped now; I wonder how long it will take before mine does.

    Frieda Goodson

    March 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    • Hello Frieda,

      Thanks for posting this. I hope you and your family are coping well through these extraordinarily difficult times. Changing the culture of our society is a very long and hard process, but it absolutely has to happen. My heart aches every time I read about another teen surrendering their life to bullying. Your pain will become easier to manage with time and support. Stay strong.


      March 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm

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