NEW YORK (LALATE) – The suicide death of Tyler Clementi (case photos below) reveals two alarming trends.Â WhileÂ Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei are now household names for their unthinkable acts of webcasting a fellow student having relations, the faces of bullies and their identities most often go unnoticed. The bullies themselves often go uncharged.
While Tyler Clementi’s case has garnered the biggest news coverage this week of the many bullying cases, there have been no less than three other state-by-state cases of teens driven to suicide because of bullying. These four cases shows two alarming trends: the growth of bullying and the often absence of help for the victims.
Clementi was 18. But there was also Billy Lucas who was 15, Asher Brown who was 13, and Seth Walsh who as 13. All four teens took their lives because of bullying this September school year. All four teens were subjected to multiple cases of bullying, whether by computers or by bodies, whether online or in the school halls. All four cases ended in suicide.
The Rutgers story is unique in that bullies bragged about their exploitation of the victim. Twitter postings didn’t hide what Ravi was doing; he invited others to join him.Â Ravi tweeted to others, invited others to iChat with him, posted pictures for others to see. In the case of the high schools teens, the bullies ran a faceless operation. And after their victims were dead, the bullies identities remained in question.
And yet, while all four teens were victimized, each felt that the ordeal was something they could not overcome. Asher Brown turned to his parents. He admitted he was gay. His parents contacted the school. Brown got the support at home but not at school. So Brown went home at shot himself. Another teen hung himself in a back yard. Clementi jumped to his death.
Before he took his life, Clementi wrote on Facebook, an account locked private for friends, his last word:Â “Sorry.”
There was nothing wrong that Clementi did. Rather, what Ravi and Wei did ended in an “unspeakable tragedy” as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said today. “As the father of a 17-year-oldâ€¦I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling today, I can’t. You send your son to school to get an education with great hopes and aspirations, and I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling today”.
All four teens went to school this September to learn. Will their bullies ever learn from their acts? Of the four cases LALATE has reported, not one of the bullys has been reported as issuing an apology after their victim’s suicide. As Christie said today “I have to tell you, I don’t know how those two folks are going to sleep at night, knowing that they contributed to driving that young man to that alternative.”
But in many cases, the bullies are unknown. Once the victim