A nine-year old child in Denver, CO named Jamel Myles committed suicide because he could not handle the bullying he faced over telling his fellow students he was gay.
I am not sure when nine-year old children started declaring their sexuality as if it matters at that age, but this is a horrific event, and one that I hope parents will take note of for future reference.
It is not surprising that elementary school children would not respond well to somebody acting so unusual for a fellow nine-year old, because they are children and they tend to fear that which they do not understand.
Which is why it is the parents’ job to help them understand so they do not engage in this type of behavior.
I am not talking about homosexuality, because parents have the right to teach their children whatever they want in terms of religious doctrine, etc….
What I am talking about is making sure your children understand that even if one of their fellow students is different in a way they do not like or fully comprehend, bullying anybody for any reason is completely unacceptable.
I have four children and always went out of my way to stress this with them.
As a Jewish man who grew up in Pakistan, I know a thing or two about being the “weird” kid.
It is not a pleasant feeling and an experience I would wish on absolutely nobody.
And while I never considered suicide, even for a second, you never know what is going through a child’s mind.
Quite frankly, at that age, children’s brains are very fragile and there is no telling how they may react to this type of abuse from their peers.
To the child’s mother, I send my heartfelt condolences.
Nobody should ever have to go through what you are going through, and I am truly horrified for you.
And to the parents of the children who bullied this poor child, I ask that you please sit your children down immediately and explain to them in great detail why what happened was so wrong and how they must respect everybody from here on out, no matter how “weird” they think a person is.
Because if they don’t, the sad reality is, something like this could very well happen again.
And we all must do everything in our power as parents and humans beings to to make sure that we do not read about a similar case occurring next year, next month, or even next week.