Aaron Dugmore, 9!!!: Bullied to Death Because of RACE!!
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. Focus.
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. That, 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.
Written by Ron Kemp
February 27, 2013 at 12:52 am
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