Duncan Ballard, 14: Family Says Suicide Was Due to Bullying
On New Year’s Day, 14-year-old Duncan Ballard ended his life. The family of the eighth-grader says that his suicide was the result of bullying.
It’s hard to imagine that, in the year 2013, with all of the glory of the Internet and the “Information Age”, non-stop 24/7 news outlets, and social networks that, at times, supersedes the news outlets, that we are still trying to figure out how to put an end to the bullying that is causing teens to end their lives. It been said here to the point of repetitiveness that anyone, anyone!!, who doesn’t know by now that bullying is at the root of far-too-many teen suicides either has their head buried (fill in your own expression completion), or they just flat-out don’t care. Either case is problematic.
Stories continue to pour in, on a daily basis, to the facebook blog page telling about being bullied, sometimes severely so. And, almost always, the stories are pretty much the same: They’re getting bullied at school; the teachers/school administrators pretty much turn a blind eye and do nothing; depression is followed by self-harm (in one way or another). And, sadly, sometimes it comes to this. Yet, even when it does come to this, STILL nothing is done. It’s as if today’s youth are expendable. They’re not. Not by a long shot.
Duncan’s family described him as different, loving, smart. Creative. He was a songwriter and liked to write and sing his songs. He was also, they say, being “picked on” both at school and at home by his peers. New Year’s Day, he reached his breaking point. He went to the upstairs of his family’s house and ended his life.
As for the responses from both the school administration and the Marion police department, you can recite their answers from memory. It doesn’t change much.
So, then, what IS the answer? How do we even begin to get across to these young schoolyard bullies that their behavior is a.) unacceptable; and, b.) causing severe harm and even death? How do we get them to care!!?? How do we get the officials to change their mindset and approach when it comes to bullying? How do we get them to care!? And, how do we get the bullying victims, themselves, to understand that they’re stronger than they realize, that this incredibly cruel and sometimes even criminal behavior they’re enduring now will definitely pass? It’s unfortunate that in 2013 there are still so many unanswered questions. It’s even more unfortunate that there are still young people who are ending their lives because of the actions of a few, actions that there are no repercussions for!!!!
Duncan Ballard should still be here, writing and singing his songs. Putting smiles on people’s faces, and in their hearts. Instead, some mean-spirited, perhaps even hateful kids chose him to pick on, to exercise their own low self-esteem on. They pushed him to the end of his young rope. Worse, there will be no consequences for their actions. Count on it. And, before you naysayers chime in with the “nobody-made-him-end-his-life; he-chose-to-do-that” rhetoric, save it for some of the parents of some of these young suicide victims where bullying was involved. I’m certain they’d have a thing or two to say to you about it.
Rest in peace, Duncan. I sure wish I could’ve heard some of your music.
********************SUICIDE IS NEVER THE ANSWER!!! TALK TO SOMEONE!!!********************
Written by Ron Kemp
January 27, 2013 at 5:55 am
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