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

Madison Wiedmeyer, 15, Suicide Death in Wisconsin

with 3 comments


Monday evening, a member of the facebook blog page posted this to the community wall:

A freshman girl at my daughter’s school committed suicide this past weekend. I pray for the family and the students at her school. Such a sad and to a young life.

After talking with her, and her daughter, I learned that 15-year-old Madison Wiedmeyer took her own life Friday, October 26th.Once again, there was little-to-no coverage or information to find about this tragic event.  What I was able to gather, however, is a.) there’s no talk of bullying (at least so far); and, b.) her young life was no stranger to death.  Four years ago, when she was 11, she lost her mother.  Two years after that, her mother’s fiance died, as well.  And, even early this year, she lost her great-grandfather.  That would be enough to send any young person into a serious bout of depression.  The person who contacted me on the facebook blog page did acknowledge, however, that bullying goes unchecked at the school her daughter and Maddy attended:

Nathan Hale High School. There has been much unabated bullying at this school for years, despite the school’s policies against it.

Was young Maddy bullied?  Did young Maddy suffer from depression?  Was it a combination of both?  Hasn’t this question been asked enough times in far too many of these teen suicides?  The redundancy comes from the unwillingness of people willing and able to provide answers, which is something I’ll never understand.  Answering these questions will go a very long way towards beginning to reverse this ghastly trend of teen suicides.

At some point, we have reach our own break point, stop talking about how terrible it is that so many young people are taking their own lives, and start demanding action!  The questions are mounting up almost as fast as the number of teen suicides, yet those questions are being answered with smoke and mirrors.

  1. Why are the number of teen suicides continuing to rise?
  2. Why isn’t there any accountability for the bullying that often accompanies teen suicides?
  3. Why doesn’t “Zero Tolerance” mean ZERO TOLERANCE?
  4. Why is it that there are still young people, today, right now!, who reports that their attempts to report incidences of bullying at school are falling upon deaf ears?
  5. Why are bullying victims being punished for being bullied?
  6. Why isn’t there more access and/or resources for these young people with mental health issues?

I’ll stop there.  I could easily go on and on.  I get angry.  This is maddening, to say the least.  And, I’m just an outsider looking in.  Imagine what these families are going through!!  They want answers, too.

What has become increasingly obvious is that nothing is going to change if we continue to wait for our officials to orchestrate the change.  It’s going to have to come from us, the concerned citizens, the families and friends of the victims, young people who are tired of their voices not being heard.  What we’re getting from the people who should be making a difference is a lot of lip service…professionals who are well-versed at saying exactly what they feel people want to hear.

We have implemented a strict Zero Tolerance policy in our school district…

Meaningless words without action.

It’s not known, at least not to me at this time, whether Madison Wiedmeyer was bullied.  Maybe she was; maybe she wasn’t.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is that something was so terribly wrong in her life that she felt that she couldn’t go on another day.  And, that’s a tragedy.  Worse, it’s a tragedy that we’re seeing with frightening frequency.

Young Madison dealt with a lot of tragedy in her short 15 years, enough to drive anyone into depression.  The weight of just one death was so hard for me to deal with, it took me a couple of decades to put the grief in its proper place.  And, I was an adult!  Imagine being an adolescent having to death with it.  It can be crushing.  Perhaps, it was crushing.

What we do know is that something pushed Madison Wiedmeyer over the edge.  Somehow, someway, we have to figure out a way to slow the rate of teen suicides down to just a trickle.  And, eventually, to zero.  We won’t do it in time to save Maddy.  But, we also won’t do it if we continue to wait for our officials and “leaders” to make a difference.  We have to do it, ourselves.

Rest in peace, Madison.

******************************SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES******************************

UNDERSTANDING TEEN DEPRESSION

WHAT TEEN DEPRESSION LOOKS LIKE

SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE

BEFRIENDERS

THE TREVOR PROJECT

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3 Responses

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  1. I just wanted to say thank you. I’m Maddy’s sister. After reading this helped a lot. It showed me that people do care out there and people are trying to make a difference.

    amber wiedmeyer

    January 26, 2013 at 5:30 am

    • I hope you and your family are well, Amber. Thank you for posting this.

      Ron Kemp

      January 26, 2013 at 6:41 am

    • Amber: I just found out about Maddy. I did not know her; nor your family. But, I am from Wisconsin (I currently live in NorCal). But, try to keep up a bit back home. I was heart-broken to follow this story. I don’t know the outcome. But, I am praying for your heart. Please stay strong and contact me if you feel so compelled.

      Lisa

      June 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm


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