Friday, August 24, 2012

Noah Grawemeyer, 12, Bullying Leads to Suicide Death

It's August 24, 2012.  The new school year is just barely underway, and here we are:  already saying goodbye to the second known student lost to suicide so far this school year.  Noah Grawemeyer was only 12 years old.  He had just started seventh grade at Hazelwood Middle School in New Albany, Indiana.  According to his mother, he didn't want to go to school Monday:
“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.


  1. BeenThereMyself said...
    I get sick to my stomach every time I hear of another young person committing suicide from bullying. I post things on my FB page asking parents and families and friends to talk to each other about what's going on in our schools and other areas where the youth hang. Today, as well as before, I am perplexed when I read the notes on the memory pages from other youth that were friends. Where were they when Noah was being harassed/bullied? Why didn't they stand up for him? Why didn't they take him under their wings and stand together against the bullies??

    Teachers, counselors and parents can only do so much especially when the youth are not talking to them about how they are being treated. However, the other young people/children are there when it happens...shouldn't they be part of the solution in stopping all this bullying?

    I'm speaking from experience of being bullied and contemplating suicide. This happened to me all 4 yrs of high school. My so called friends or people I hung out with, just laughed or looked the other way!! That hurt, a lot. Now some of them are wondering why I never go to any reunions. Why would I want to spend any more time with them after they ignored what was happening to me then.

    Sorry for the rant, but I feel now like I did then whenever another child takes his/her life! It's personal for me, as I expect it is for lots of others. I am 53 years old and still have dreams about high school. I am trying to do my part to stop bullying whenever I see it or know about it. I don't have all the answers, I just say a lot of prayers.

    Still hurting after all these years, but taking one day at a time and hoping that soon all this bullying/suicide will be a thing of the past.

    August 24, 2012 6:55 PM

    1. You have every right to rant I am so sick of it as well, these poor Children, dying because of cruelty, because of how people treat someone because they are different . I my self was bullied through Middle School and Through high school, When I was discovered that I was Gay, very few people showed any compassion towards me. I was going to go home take my own life, but God put my good friend in my path she saved my life for showing me compassion. This stuff is getting sick. Being different gay, bisexual lesbian, being over weight, so many reasons why young teens are taking there own lives due to, its just pure bull shit, so my Friend Rant away for this needs to be dressed, the bullies that push someone to this point deserve to go to Jail. I wish it could change I really do. My prayers are with the Families of the ones they have lost. My firend to whom I am replying I have nightmares as well. I understand how hard it is to let go. Have a good day, than you for your story as well

    2. What you say in your rant rings true. I also was mercilessly bullied in school, and also come from something of a broken home, and I really believe that had it not been for my best friend I probably wouldn't be here today. He DID stand up for me, and I think everyone needs at least one friend who does. Going at it alone can be unbearable and nothing helps more than having someone you know you can depend on.

  2. My name is Humberto Gomez Vega, from Chihuahua Mexico. I just want to throw up, anger, hate is what I have in mind. Tell me something I can do to stop this. Why make a little boy like this suffer to the point to make him decide to take his own life? how bad, how disgusting had to be his day... i cry for him, for Jamey, for everyone...please stop, stop for God`s sake! Humberto Gomez Vega

  3. I doubt that anything will be done about bullying in any schools until/unless it happens to a faculty member's child. Even then, it will only be that one school. It's extremely saddening, and makes me wonder if it's wise to bring a child into a world with so much hate.

  4. this child is at peace now.....his mother will never be at peace until she holds her son in her arms again. this should never have happened

    2 seconds ago · Like

  5. I agree completely with you. Enough "is" enough, because at this age you should not be submited to eniugh tortue to be put through this it is truly heartbreaking. :(

  6. Yes, it's very sad that this boy committed suicide, but I believe using him as a focal point for rallying public opinion against bullying is premature. The only statement in the article regarding Noah's motive for suicide is that he didn't want to go to school, and was upset to the point of tears. The police investigation is still ongoing; if they conclude that bullying was involved, you have your article. If they don't, and you are convinced that the police are covering up or just being lazy, it would seem to be time for additional investigation. You did make a token acknowledgement to the irrelevency of Noah's suicide to your subject, but I feel that wasn't enough to do Noah justice. He deserves to be mourned for himself and the facts, not for being a possible victim of bullying.

    I admire your intent in publishing this blog; its purpose is needed these days. But....a tighter focus and adherence to tangible facts will help you achieve it. I would be interested in seeing some practical suggestions to combat bullying.

  7. I am a survivor of bullying (from an early age) and at the age of 51 have learned the following: (1). Bullying appears to be the second most favorite form of entertainment at school, in the military, in the workplace ... and in the family. (2.) When a person has been bullied, s/he develops anxiety and panic attack, not to mention depression -as a function of a hopelessness and helplessness borne out of being marginalized and repeatedly attacked. (3.) Bullying appears to be an artifact of a culture where being different is seen as a threat against the idealized norm (4.) Bullies do not change as they do not begin to understand the crippling effect of their actions. (5.) the bully garners support from his/her associates in that they themselves want to avoid the punishment of being being bullied. AND NUMBER 6 ... the only treatment i have found to be useful to me is the treatment offered to people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a therapy called EMDR. As a lay-person, this treatment has helped me to regain my history and my life - and has helped me to step away from suicidal thoughts. For more information on EMDR please see

  8. James you have hit the nail on the head. It isn't just our children being bullied. In the work place HR just buries their head in the sand. Unfortunately those that are bullies in school join the workforce eventually and continue to bully.

  9. Why doesn't the school do anything to help prevent this FROM HAPPENING? THEY DON'T DO CRAP ALL! go ask an adult for help! yeah right!! If anybody helped this BOY WOULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS TO HIMSELF! I'm really sorry for what I'm saying but this is how I feel.

    My love goes out Noah's loved ones! I'm greatly sorry for your loss!

  10. All I know is no family should ever have to go through what this family is going through. All because of some bull shit ass school that cant notice that something is going on. I mean how can some other 12 year old kids be so mean to another kid to push him to take his own life? I don't understand and never will. I mean where do this kids learn this stuff at? No 12 year old kid should be that mean. It really breaks my heart. Eventually that person that was involved in this case will slip up and tell the wrong person the wrong thing and it will all come out ! And when it does that person or people involved should get the max punishment !!!

  11. I agree that BULLYING NEEDS TO STOP AND TEEN SUICIDE BECAUSE OF BULLYING IS CLOSE TO BEING AN EPIDEMIC...IF NOT AN EPIDEMIC ALREADY. I am so sorry for the family's loss. WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR WHAT'S RIGHT AND STAND UP AGAINST BULLYING AND SPEAK UP FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T SPEAK UP FOR THEMSELVES, BECAUSE IF WE DON'T AND THEY DON'T THEN WHO WILL. My condolences go out to Noah and his family and all the other people who have lost their loved ones due to suicide and bullying and for those who have taken their own lives because of the bullying and for those who have even tried or come to think that suicide is the only way out.

  12. I can't believe it. Every time I see someone bullied I go up to them and ask them if theyre okay. If I'm in time I ask the bully what the hell is wrong With them.

    I have been through being bullied but pulledyself together and no longer care what they think of me. What matters is what I think. So.

  13. I never finished my teaching degree, mainly due to a number of parents I dealt with while working in the schools. I got sick of them saying "My kid would never..." They wouldn't believe their kid started the fight, sat in the back of the room throwing paper wads at another child, or left nasty notes on desks. Parents need to realize that their angels are capable of anything, and stand up to them. The cure for this starts at home. Parents need to step up when their child does something, not just offer up some lame denial. I saw this too often, and try as I might, as one person who only saw the kids a few hours a week, I couldn't do much. It comes down to the parents of the bullies, and unfortunately, often times they too were bullies.

  14. there is issues with Bullying in that school now but there quick to say its not Bullying someone needs to look into that school my niece was beingpicked on by the other kids and she said she tryed to tell the teacher and the teacher told her to just go sit back down when the teacher was questioned about it she said my niece never tryed to talk to her