Jenna Young, 13, Yet Another Teen Suicide in Pennsylvania
The owner of another page dealing with bully-related teen suicides contacted me on the facebook blog page and alerted me to the suicide death of Jenna Young. She was just 13 years old.According to everything I’ve read about Jenna’s suicide, she was yet another victim of bullying…pushed to break-point by someone’s meanness and own lack of self-esteem. Someone from her city sent this plea to Ellen DeGeneres’ facebook page:
Robert [sent to the] The Ellen DeGeneres Show
October 9 at 2:42pm ·Hello Ellen,I’m not sure if you actually get to read all of these posts that are flying up onto your fb wall. I had wanted to talk to you about the travesty that has happened in my hometown of Ford City, PA. While growing up in this rural community, there seems to be a rich sense of community. However, what everyone fails to realize is that it’s just a facade. I had been bullied when I had been in high school as one of the few kids that had come out in 1999. The school district, respecting authorities, had turned a negligent brow to the side and continue to allow the bullying to repeat without repercussion. I am glad that I am have grown to be a strong person and have pulled through that traumatic time of my life.Sad to say that there is a girl who has not been as lucky to have the strength to be able to pull through. Jenna Jolene Young, 13, committed suicide on 10/07/2012 due to bullying. The community’s police departments are saying that there was not a note and cannot prove that it had been because of bullying. People of this country need to be aware that just because we live in a community that is rural, that there are people out there who care. Ellen, I am asking for your help in trying to develop an anti-bullying training and to shine a much broader light onto this subject to help educate this small community of school districts. We as a whole need to realize that turning a shoulder is starting to kill our kids.
The love, hope, peace and equality seeker.
There are several things wrong with this. For starters, yes, Robert, there are definitely people outside of your rural community who care and are paying attention to what’s going on. What’s needed is more people, just like yourself, to continue to reach out beyond your community. We will definitely hear you. Hopefully, the reaching out will come before another teen suicide.
Secondly, I think we’ve seen this play out far too many times, where the “authorities”, the police agencies themselves!, the school districts!, are turning a blind eye to what’s going on with young people in these schools. Rural, suburban, and urban schools, alike, there are instances upon instances of bullying being reported that all say the same thing: no one is doing anything about it! The question is no longer “how or why is this continuing to happen?” We’ve reached the point where the question has to be “what can these people be charged with”? Especially when the ignored bullying precedes another teen suicide. We simply cannot continue to allow these people of authority to walk away from their responsibility of protecting these young people. Are these people not parents, themselves? How is it so easy for them to continue to turn a blind eye to what they’re obviously seeing take place right under their noses. “A lot of the bullying takes place off the school grounds”, one teacher told me. I don’t want to hear that! Even with that being a possibility, maybe even a probability, there’s enough of it going on right there on the school grounds that no one is doing anything about. In fact, I would go as far as to say that a lot of the “off the school grounds” bullying started on school grounds. So, the day has come where we simply must start holding these people, these professional caretakers and educators, accountable for these young people who are being bullied. Especially those who are being bullied to the point of suicide.
And, finally, and maybe even more importantly, before we can start attacking the teen, schoolyard bullying, we as a society, and as adults, need to grow up and start setting better examples. Look around you. Watch television for an hour, if you can stomach it. Everywhere we look, in our daily lives, on television, perhaps in our own lives, we see bullying by adults on a regular and daily basis. Politicians. Religious leaders. Educators. No one is exempt. We are teaching and training the younger generation to be bullies. Period. And, we’re seeing the results.
This isn’t a game. This will not go away if we sweep it under the rug. As adults, we are letting down a whole generation of young people to the point where they’re ending their own lives. Sadly, when they do, two things always, always, always happen:
- Another family is devastated, left to try to find answers as to why their cherished child ended his or her life.
- No one, no adult, no teacher, no principal, no officials anywhere, owns up to any responsibility to a suicide that could’ve been prevented.
Saying “this has to stop” is worn out. Meaningless. The intent behind those words is great: real and heartfelt. The problem is those words aren’t getting the job done. Nothing is changing. And, as we’re seeing, if nothing changes, nothing changes. Nothing is changing. Well, let me correct myself: things are changing. The teen suicide rate is rising. The time is now for these “officials” to be held accountable for the bullying that they know is going on.
So long to you, Jenna. I wish we could’ve reached you in time.
******************************SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES******************************
Written by Ron Kemp
November 9, 2012 at 5:28 am
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