“He was sick to his stomach, and he just was so upset when I talked to him and crying that he didn't want to go to school, and I didn't understand why he was crying not to..."Police in New Albany are investigating whether or not there was bullying involved. Same ol', same ol'. Undoubtedly, their conclusion will be one that we've heard many, many, too many times before: "Our investigation has concluded that bullying was not an issue... ." And, that leaves Noah's distraught family and friends in anguish. I'm certain that, on a core level, whether or not he was pushed to suicide due to bullying pales, by comparison, to the fact that he's gone. Rightly so. No parent or family member should ever have to go through the debilitating loss of a child to suicide.
On the other side of the coin, it is August 2012. I refuse to believe that there's a single person alive today, and of reasonable intelligence, who doesn't know that there's an enormous problem today with bullying and teen suicides. There's literally no place in the media a person can go and not hear stories of bullying and of teen suicides. It's in the newspapers for people who still read them; it's on the news channels and talk shows for those who watch television; it's on the Internet for those who spend most of their time there. It's an unavoidable issue. The stories are there. The faces are there. The broken families are there. The lawmakers are there vowing new legislation. So, with all of this in place, how is it that we're barely into the new school year and, already!, we're facing teen suicides due to bullying? Where is the ball being dropped? And, make no mistake: the ball is clearly being dropped. Do we wait until this affects us directly before we get involved? Do we continue to not educate our own young ones about the value of acceptance until we're face-to-face with the horror of the loss of our own child or teenager due to bullying and suicide? Do we continue to make our posters - "No More Bullying!!!"; "Bullying Stops Here!!" - march them around town while we wait for someone else to roll up their sleeves and get busy working for a solution? Or, do we look at this as what it is: a scourge in our society; an epidemic that is claiming many lives year after year; something that is totally controllable and avoidable? Once enough people begin to look at this for what it really is and feel in their heart that it has to stop before one more family has to go through what the Grawemeyers are currently going through, we'll start seeing real changes.
There are resources available, numbers that can be called, websites, and help pages.
Enough is Enough: the blog page
National Suicide Lifeline
The Trevor Project
Suicide Prevention Information
There's been a facebook page set up in Noah's memory. You can go there and give your condolences to the family. And, to you, young Noah, you're at peace, now. No more bullying.