Felicia Garcia, 15, Death by Suicide
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.
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!!!!******************************
Written by Ron Kemp
October 26, 2012 at 6:58 am
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