It takes a death to open public's eye

May 14 2012 - 9:30am

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Today in our society we are seeing many rising problems. We see murders, robberies, drugs ... the list is endless.

But one particular issue has caught my attention recently -- bullying and suicide. Many different types of people are bullied for various reasons, but right now, bullying based on sexual orientation is taking place in our schools, even here in northern Utah.

Recently a Northern Utah gay teen we will call Bryan (to protect his family's privacy) was bullied at his school. Many may think that it's just bullying and that everyone goes through it, but this person did not. He was bullied to the point that he no longer wanted to live. This young man took his own life because of the way he was treated and the names he was called.

Sadly, this is just one of hundreds of annual cases. In the quiet town of Williamsville, N.Y., last September, a 14-year-old by the name of Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life for the same reasons as the Utah teen. These teens feel helpless and feel like the only thing that they can do to stop the hurt is to end their lives.

What is my point in mentioning these stories? Well, what is even sadder is that both of these lives could have been saved, along with many others. A community rally and vigil was held for the teen here in Ogden recently, and Jamey's school addressed the issues after they heard the news of what had happened. Why couldn't action have been taken before these young people had passed away though?

Both of these young lives could have been saved if something would have been done sooner. Should it really take a death to get the bullying to stop? The answer is NO.

Many, many lives could be saved if witnesses and friends would take the time to help these teens and report what is going on to an adult or school official. Many are afraid to be a "snitch" or a "tattle- tale." But if you tell someone about what is going on or if you stand up for those who are getting bullied, you can help them know that there truly is someone who cares about them.

You could even save a life. Don't just sit back and watch someone being put down, do something about it! You could even be that person's hero in a sense.

Austin Miller-Anderson is a senior at Ben Lomond High School. He enjoys writing, singing and dancing. Email him at austintylermiller@gmail.com.

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