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Suicide at 7?

This is an unbelievable story. Suicide at 7?

DETROIT (WJBK) – Detroit police are investigating the death of a 7-year-old boy who was found hanging from a bunk bed with a belt around his neck.

Police say they responded to a home north of the New Center area around 5:30 p.m. after the boy’s 14-year-old sister found him unconscious. Emergency crews performed CPR and transported him to Henry Ford Hospital where he later died.

Police believe the boy’s death was a suicide, but the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office will make the determination about cause of death.

Sources tell FOX 2 their investigation leads them to believe the boy was bullied at school.

via Detroit Boy, 7, Dies in Apparent Suicide.

It is fascinating to me how quickly we feel the need to place blame for things we don’t understand. Rather than look at all the possibilities for this event including accidental death, immediately bullying is the source of the situation.

Do we jump to conclusions too quickly when reporting horror in order to anesthetize ourselves from looking into the pain? Is blame here another form of escapism? Does this merely create “buzz” and gossip at the expense of a family going through the worst situation a human being could imagine?

Maybe I am too cynical here. But I can’t help but be concerned that our media messages continue to fuel our culture of discontent.

Moreover, the demonization of bullies does little to solve the problem. These are all kids. Those who bully are rarely balanced kids and have a host of issues. Bullying is a way for them to establish the illusion of control over their lives. In truth they are hopeless kids. Of course this is not the case of all bullies:

Bullies are often troubled kids themselves. Some are not; some bullies are just sadistic. But most bullying is the result of distilled anger, blind insensitivity or is motivated by ignorance and prejudice or some combination thereof. These kids need early intervention and help lest they become the sad caricatures of adult bullies exemplified in It Gets Better videos.

Compassion needs to extend both ways in order to resolve the problem at the source and not fix its symptoms. Let’s hold adults responsible for planting their kids in the fields of violence only to resent what they have become.

About Andrew Tatusko

Secularization, critical pedagogy, sometimes agnostic, politics, and a ton of running. Penn State is definitely not responsible for what I say.


One thought on “Suicide at 7?

  1. I agree. I think that we should not only advocate to those being bullied, but the bullies themselves as well! We should get to the source of the real issue behind bullying and find out what has our future generations so broken and misunderstood.

    Posted by Leigh Hall | May 24, 2012, 3:50 PM

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