Bullying in school is unfortunately, for many students, part and parcel of the education experience for many students.
Jamel Myles should be joining his peers for a new school year. Instead, he lies in his grave. He killed himself last week after experiencing an entire school year in which he and his older sister were constantly bullied. According to his mother, Leia Pierce, the administration did nothing to stop the bullying, especially after her son came out to her over the summer.
The boy’s grandmother, Jacque Miller, disagree’s with her daughter.
“The statement that it takes a village to raise a child is true,” she said. “And the village is broken.”
I agree with both statements. While the administration played it’s part, I believe that our overall culture had a hand in the unnecessary suicide of a young boy. Many members of the LGBTQ community experience bullying, regardless of whether they are in the close or out of the closet. There is also, from my perspective, a permissive attitude of parents and teachers that bullying in school is normal and part of the educational experience. It shouldn’t be, but it is. We should be teaching our children and ourselves to at least respect others, even if they are different or if we disagree with them.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to bring Jamel Myles back to life. But, we can honor his memory and the memory of too many who have taken their lives due to bullying by teaching our children and ourselves to respect others.
RIP James Myles. May your memory be a blessing.