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

Aaron Dugmore, 9!!!: Bullied to Death Because of RACE!!

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Where do I start?  This has me numb.  A nine-year-old boy has ended his life because of bullying.  You wouldn’t know it by reading this, but just typing that caused me to walk away from the keyboard for a bit in order to re-collect my thought.  It’s truly that mind-numbing. Aaron Dugmore2Focus.

As hard as it is to wrap ones brain around, 9-year-old Aaron Dugmore, ended his life after being relentlessly bullied at school for being…white!!! According to news sources, the school that Aaron was attending was 75% “different ethnic background”.

Aaron was threatened with a plastic knife by one Asian pupil, who warned him: ‘Next time it will be a real one.’

He was also allegedly told by another pupil that ‘all the white people should be dead’ and he was forced to hide from the bullies in the playground at lunchtime.  (source:  u.k.dailymail)

This is too much.  My mind doesn’t want to go here.  Focus.  Aaron Dugmore committed suicide at age 9 because of what amounts to racist bullying.  Racist bullying that, once again!, nothing was done to prevent.  It’s not just in this country:  it’s a worldwide lack of caring!!  That lack of caring breeds inaction.  The inaction allows the bullying to continue to fester and the suicides to continue to mount.  Aaron Dugmore was 9!!  Where does this end?  Where is the line drawn!?

“I went to see [the school principal] a few times, but he only said, ‘You didn’t have to come to this school, you chose to come here’.”

You tell a parent who is coming to you out of concern that her nine-year-old son is being constantly bullied, and instead of acting upon her complaint and concern, “you didn’t have to come to this school, you chose to come here.  You blame her for her choice in schools.  Then, the nine-year-old son ends up dead because he felt, at nine-years-old!!!helpless and hopeless.  No matter how you attempt to spin it, the death of this 9-year-old boy is on your hands for life.  aaron dugmoreThat, unfortunately, won’t bring Aaron back to his family, will it?  Holding this callous “school administrator” responsible (which I sincerely hope is done!) won’t put that smile back on his face and back into the hearts of his parents.  Finding these young racists who bullied Aaron to the point of no return and expelling them from school as well as holding them legally accountable for his death won’t bring him back, either.  All of the above would be a great place to start; however, all of the options are reactive as opposed to being proactive.  And, as long as we continue to be reactive in our response to these tragedies, this epidemic will continue to escalate.

If I had the one, definitive answer that would end this once and for all, it would’ve ended years ago.  Rather, I do have some ideas that I think would make an enormous difference in the culture we’re seeing today.  There are certainly things that could, and should, be done that will make a difference:

  • An absolute must has to be accountability.  The current culture of “there are no reported incidents…” has to come to an abrupt end.  In the majority of these cases, the bullying has been reported to “school officials”.  In a recent case, it was even well-documented!  In the case of Aaron Dugmore, however, his mother was told that she “chose to send him” to that school, which is to absolve themselves of any responsibility and place the blame on the mother!  Teachers, and school administrators, are responsible for the safety and well-being of the students in their care.  Period.  If they are unable to provide them a safe environment, they need to find another profession.  Too many lives are being affected by their negligence.  And, needless to say, far too many lives are being lost.
  • There needs to be accountability for the parents of the bullies, as well.  That bullying is leading some to a lifetime of emotional problems is very well-documented.  Even in the cases where the bullying doesn’t lead to teen suicide, the emotional scars run very deep.  And, then there are the instances where the bullying does lead to suicide!  The bullies need to be identified, and their parents need to be held just as accountable as the child who committed the act of bullying.  Some will say that’s easier said than done.  I say not.  It all starts in the home.  One of two things are occurring:  either the home environment is one that fosters and promotes bullying, of the lack of parental control is such that these young people are free to do as they please, with no worry of consequences.  In either case, the results are far-reaching and devastating.
  • Most importantly, the young person(s) involved in acts of bullying absolutely must be held accountable.  In Maryland, just yesterday, a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to 35 years for shooting one of his schoolmates on the first day of school.  No one died, and the shooting victim is back in school.  Aaron Dugmore can’t go back to school.  Neither can the many, many other victims of suicide because of bullying.  His actions didn’t kill anyone, yet the 15-year-old teenager here in Maryland will be in prison until his 40s at the earliest.  The actions of some of these bullies are leading directly to the death of their victims, yet they are not being held accountable!!!  How are we, as a society, continuing to allow that to happen?  Am I saying that all bullies need to be locked up for decades?  Of course not.  What I am saying, though, is that as long as they know (and, understand that they are well aware!) that there will be no consequences for their actions of intolerance and, in some cases, hatred, they have no reason to even reconsider their actions.

It’s time to get very serious about the bullying and related youth suicide issue that we’re seeing.  Bemoaning another loss and mourning their death is a perfectly natural response; however, it’s time to demand action that will prevent this from continuing to happen.  Right now, with the climate currently in place, we’re seeing a lot for posturing.  Smoke and mirrors.  Ineffective “zero tolerance” anti-bullying policies, policies that look great on paper and sound really good to tell parents and the media, but do absolutely nothing to address this continuing problem.  And, sadly, the only way this is going to end is for you, the concerned parents and citizens, to stand up, make sure your voices are heard as you tell them that you’ve had enough of reading about yet another young person ending his/her life because of bullying.  Tell them how empty your home, and your heart, is without your young son or daughter who was bullied to the point where they saw no other way out but to end their life.  There really is power in numbers.

Aaron Dugmore was 9-years-old.  Unfathomable.  Rest in peace, Aaron.

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20 Responses

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  1. this happened to my son when he was about 8 years old; he didn’t kill himself, he came home with a big black circle in the middle of his forehead where another boy had BIT him!!!! I managed to get the boys name who did this to my son and called his Dad. Went up one side of him and down the other and I would NOT let him off the phone until I clearly heard that he talk to his son and the rule was: absolutely NO biting!!! My children talk about it to this day, how Mom was so angry and held them accountable. How I gave the father what for. Of course, the school dissolved themselves from the entire issue, as this happened at the bus stop. I agree, the school system needs to be held to task. And when I was going to school, there were monitors to monitor the children so that these kinds of things were limited, if they happened at all. And the monitors were on the playground, in the halls, and at the bus stop, even at the crosswalks. When I was teaching, I had to do my stint during the school week to monitor the school grounds and hallways…. nowadays, it is all about doing as little work as possible and for more money, bogus labeling and drugging the children all in the support of pharmaceuticals.

    AMN

    February 27, 2013 at 2:10 am

    • Now that’s how bullying should be dealt with! It disgusts me that something was not done about the bullying of Aaron.

      MaraudersForever

      March 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

  2. My heart is so very sad for Aaron (his name means ‘light’). My son’s middle name is Aaron, and I chose a name which well suited him. As it did this treasured son. My sons are bi-racial and have been subjected to the ravages of racism, by both blacks and whites, since my eldest son, now 36, took his very first steps outside alone, to play. I watched him from my window, on his ‘new’ adventure. I saw him interacting with another child his age: 7. I watched him run toward our front door and the other child walk away, looking back at my son. When I opened the door, my son said, ‘Mom, that boy said he can’t play with me because my skin’s too dirty.’ Racism has no place in the hearts of good people, and yet we see our children struggle with it every day. God bless that baby and his family.

    Donna Pitts

    February 27, 2013 at 3:46 am

  3. This makes me sick. Two things are to blame here. Stupid parents who do not teach their kids to respect others. And stupid parents who do not discipline their kids, yes I mean good old fashioned spankings that give kids a healthy fear of their parents and a fear of what will happen if they don’t act right. I am sick to death of hearing about bullying and the devastating effects it has on the victims. It breaks my heart. Any child caught bullying should have a public spanking in front of their peers.

    Lesley Curry

    February 27, 2013 at 6:11 am

  4. figure it out now or later its not our choice to be one race or another GOD and yes the ones who sub built us our biologicals had a reason to allow us to learn from one another sticks n stones dont just build real tears but hurt in too many awful ways myself not a bit sad about learning to be a minority when growingjust knew on e day ill be aaccepted by the ONLY ONE who matters for those thinking on ending thingds dont jump into the bs just know U r loved

    Stacie Eskenazi

    February 27, 2013 at 7:56 am

  5. There is so much hate….children can be so cruel, but hate is taught. No one is teaching their children to be kind or caring. The moment you hear unkind words coming from your child…YOU need to stop it! These parents of these awful children need to sit back and look deep inside themselves to see where this hate came from! The parents and the teachers ALL SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE! Whomever wrote ‘Sticks and Stones can break your bones, but names can never hurt you’ Never had a Clue, it is like they say The tongue is a powerful weapon.

    Brenda Lee

    February 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

  6. People are so f-ing sick. Bullied to death. at 9. soooo crazy. People are evil. I hope his death haunts the people that bullied him until the day they die. They should be brought up on charges.

    Jordan FS

    February 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm

  7. Yes children can be mean,yes parents should be teaching them to respect others and their feelings.It is clear to see that Aron was being bullied by children that for whatever reason chose not to follow one of lifes simplest rules.Respect but why would they.The school showed no respect for Aron or his mother when she told them of what was going on at school.It is a childs right to an education not a choice.It is the people employed in the schools responsibilty to keep our children free from all harm when in their care.The children I’m not so sure our as responsible for this but the adults who knew,made excuses,done nothing.All and only because it would have been work,their job,their responsiblity absolutly failed to protect and help a child in need.If the bulling had happened at home the school would have been all over reporting it.They should have charges brought against them.

    outradged

    February 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

  8. This absolutely sickens me. Poor Aaron. And all this was caused because certain people were too stupid to a) stop bullying him and b) do something about the bullying. The principal and school officials who refused to stop the group of bullies should be punished severely, along with the parents (“all white people should be dead”) of the children who bullied Aaron.

    MaraudersForever

    March 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

  9. This is utterly abhorrent…

    Carlosaurus Wrecks

    May 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm

  10. WOW, age 9, bullied for his race…….WOW no matter what, NO ONE SHOULD GO THROUGH THIS!!!! 9 years old???!??!?!?!?!? dammit, this just makes me sick!!!! GAY, STRAIGHT, BLACK, WHITE, ASIAN…..RACE, COLOR, ETHNICITY, GENDER, SEXUAL PREFFORANCE, it SHOULDN’T matter!!!!!! We aren’t born with hate, it is something that is learned from parents or other kids and adults. GOD —- this has to stop!!!!!

    Ron Kesper Kesper

    May 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm

  11. The school administration is as much to blame. they knew about it but did nothing. this is tacit approval as these Schools breed a culture of bullying. Teachers bully students. Admin bullies. why else would they not act?Do you have the mailing address of the school? Let’s start a letter writing campaign to the school.

    briannag009

    May 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm

  12. […] Aaron Dugmore, 9!!!: Those who bullied this little boy so much that he felt that at 9yrs old he was better off dead than to live with the pain,that they put him thru should be held totally accountable for his death. […]

  13. Everyone says its their choice to have an ask.fm or their choice to be on social networks. I’m 13, and I know what it’s like! Kids are bored… Honestly we have nothing to do except be with friends… But some people don’t have friends because they get physically bullied. I got bullied because I’m a ginger… It’s not fair. But this ask.fm needs to be shut down for good. Why isn’t it shut down? Because scared I’m going to loose some of my bestfriends! I just can’t do that. Bullying needs to end. It’s unfair to kids that are victims.

    Haybae

    June 30, 2013 at 5:01 am

  14. My eldest son was eight yrs old , had adhd, but was incredibly intellectual for his age. One day I received a call from his principal at school to say he wanted to see me. On arrival at the school I was informed that my son had apparently called another child a ‘nigger’ and a fight was started. My son was apparently down on the ground, with seven kids kicking and hitting him before the fight was broken up by a teacher who was on playground duty at lunchtime.
    My son is white, with a multi-racial family consisting of many white, black and brown aunts, uncles, grandparents,and family friends. (We have never used the word nigger ever, and can’t imagine my son using the word. Although,I couldn’t say it didn’t happen because I wasn’t there. However, my son told me he hadn’t said it, and I believed him.) The other 7 boys, all brown skinned (native to our country.)
    The principal told me it was my son’s fault and that I needed to take him home and discipline him. I was shocked and totally appalled! REALLY?? I was the only parent called?? The Principal tried to dismiss me, but I told him straight, that I wasn’t going anywhere , even if it took all night, I demanded that the parents of the other boys were called to the school also. All other students, teachers,and even the bullies had gone home.

    My son’s and I sat in that office for the total of three hours, we weren’t moving. The kids,and their parents arrived. All talked calmly until it was sorted. It turned out that the use of the word ‘nigger’ was never used, and that the group of boys just wanted to fight, well, just because. Apologies were made, the parents went home and disciplined each of their sons. For the ring leader, his grandmother, an elder of the family, tore into ALL of the boys, until they cried, and even slapped her grandson on the way out. Thankfully, there were no repurcussions afterwards.
    We have to be there for our kids. We need for them to feel safe, and to have someone they can talk to, or to notice changes that may occur if something is troubling them. We also need them to trust that we have their backs, and that we will stand up for them, no matter what.
    Bullies are cowards. They try the gang mentality because they want everyone to think they’re cool. That is why discipline is very important , esp. at such a young age. They need to be made accountable for their actions. I’m not inciting child abuse by any means, however there is nothing wrong with a good attention getter when it is deserved.
    What happened to Aaron, shouldn’t have happened, teachers / principals are trusted with our children because that’s the vocation they chose. They wanted to teach, and teaching isn’t just about ABC’s and 123’s. It’s preparing them for their future! Along with parents, teaching them right from wrong, and what is acceptable, and what isn’t. RIP little Angel , Aaron ❤

    Lynn Anderson

    October 13, 2013 at 5:02 am

  15. […] In another sad incidence a 9 year old child took his life after being bullied at school for being wh…. He was threatened by an Asian with a plastic knife, and hid many times on the playground in fear of bullies who had taunted him with remarks such as “all white people should be dead.” […]

    Innocence Gone? |

    October 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm

  16. The boy in Maryland that shot a classmate was the one being bullied NOT the bully. He brought the gun to school to bring attention to his plight. The student who was shot was an innocent bystander and not one of the shooter’s bullies. However, the damage has been done and the wrong person is behind bars for the rest of his life without a chance to change.

    Debby

    May 27, 2014 at 12:33 am

  17. Tears reading the whole thing! I can’t believe a 9 year old could have this happen! Schools have the responsibility to put bullying at the top of the agenda. And parents need to teach kids the proper way and don’t let their kids become bullies. Parents don’t understand how even the slightest subtle things can turn kids into bullies. Kids are naturally nice and innocent people, they just react to what they are taught and what they are exposed to.

    Rafael Ahmed

    July 13, 2014 at 1:55 am

    • Well put. I also think that what they’re exposed to in the media, ESPECIALLY social media, plays a large part in it, too.

      Ron Kemp

      July 13, 2014 at 2:29 am


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