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

Kyle Wells, 16, Bullied for Being Gay

with 4 comments

The bad news just keeps getting worse.  I was alerted to this tragedy on the facebook blog page just moments after publishing the blog post about the three teens from St. Clair, MO. Kyle Wells, 16, from Cody, Wyoming ended his life October 30th.  According to his grandmother, she left home to buy some Halloween candy.  When she returned, Cody was already dead.  His grandmother and his best friend, Stephen, both agree that Kyle was bullied.  He was bullied because of his small size.  He was bullied for being gay.

His grandmother says that the bullying, because of his size, started as early as kindergarten.

It started when he was in kindergarten. He was about the size of a two-year old. And the kids would carry him around and call him their baby…He hated that. He wanted to feel as big and important as they were

His angry best friend, Stephen, added that Kyle would not have committed suicide if not for the bullying:

No he would not. He would have not. That’s what caused most of his problems, was the bullying. He’s been bullied for being gay, for being short, pretty much everything he’s done in his life

And, of course, the school officials gave their standard, scripted response:

School officials say they had no reports of bullying before Kyle died

Kyle had a failed suicide attempt two years before, an attempt that led to him being hospitalized in a behavioral and treatment center in Salt Lake City.  Born with fetal alcohol syndrome, his grandmother believes that that affected the way he dealt with bullying.

I’m going to play this song again because not enough people are listening to it.  They’re hearing it, but they’re not paying attention to the message of the lyric.  The time for you, the school officials left in charge of protecting each and every student in your care for every single day of the school year, to stop running from the issue of bullying is long, long past due.  You’re seeing the bullying for yourselves, but you’re looking the other way.  You’re hearing student after bullied student tell you, plead to you!, that they need your help to keep them from the bullying they are enduring, but you’re not listening to them.  Meanwhile, young people are dying needlessly because of it!  Sweeping this issue under the carpet isn’t making it go away.  It won’t go away without your intervention.  So what if you have “…no documentation” of bullying!  You’re SEEING it with your own eyes.  I know you are.  You know you are.  So, why are you continuing to allow these children to die!?  The same can be said about the police officials who rapidly release “official reports” that their “…investigation hasn’t found bullying to be the cause…”.  You KNOW it’s happening.  You know it!!!!  So, why are you rushing to dismiss it?  It’s a huge black eye on the otherwise great work you do.  “Zero tolerance” for bullying is 100% meaningless as long as you, the school officials, and you, the law enforcement communities, are doing nothing to enforce it.  And, the death toll rises.

Kyle Wells’ grandmother says she went to the school a couple of times every year to confer with the administrators about the bullying he was enduring.

“All through school I had to go to the schools once or twice a year, discussing the bullying problems and what was being said to him, and what affects it was having on him and things, and nothing ever changed,” she says.

How many more times do we need to hear that before we understand that there’s a real and serious problem?  How many more lives need to be senselessly lost because of the inaction of the very people who are supposed to be caring for the welfare of each and every student?  These suicides are 100% preventable.  One hundred percent!  To get to that point, however, bully prevention and suicide prevention both need to be taken 100% more seriously.

That Kyle was dealing with fetal alcohol syndrome was trying enough for him.  I know this because I’ve seen it up close and personal.  That Kyle also had to deal with a lifetime of bullying because he was apparently undersized for his age and, then, because of his sexuality proved to be too much for him to handle.  Alone.  He shouldn’t have had to deal with it alone.

Rest in peace, Kyle.  You shouldn’t have had to endure what you did.  You definitely shouldn’t have had to deal with it alone.


4 Responses

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  1. Bullying HAS to stop. Something has to change. “Zero tolerance” is a load of BS. They don’t actually enforce it. I’ve been bullied. I’m one of the lucky ones… I made it out. Other people… are not as lucky.


    November 20, 2012 at 1:20 am

  2. My grandson Zachary Gales died Oct. 9th 2012 because of his inability to handle being bullied. He also committed suicide. And yes the school also claimed that he was NOT being bullied. Even other kids made comments that he was not being bullied. However one young boy had the heart to let my daughter know that he was guilty of it and he apologized to her. Other people saw it, other adults knew about it. Schools turn their heads to it ! My heart goes out to his grandmother because I know exactly how she feels. My heart goes out to his friends who cared about him.. And yes he will be missed and he was loved. Rest in Peace Kyle.

    Sarah Norton

    November 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

  3. i knew kyle, he was a good kid and one of my, closest friends, the fact that he was pushed into doing this makes me mad. bullying needs to stop in all place, he is proof that bullying DOES hurt people.

    patrick doan

    January 6, 2013 at 1:06 am

  4. I live in Cody. I heard about this suicide last year, in 8th grade, but I didn’t hear why it happened, just that he was bullied. Now I’m a freshman in our High School, and there was just another suicide. Being curious about that one, I looked up “Cody WY Suicide” which lead me here. Now I’m terrified, knowing that this adolescent was bullied into suicide at my school for being gay, and realizing that with me also being gay, that this could happen to me.


    March 21, 2016 at 3:35 am

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