Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Devin Scott, 17, Death by Suicide

Welcome to the new school year.  This is the year that we're supposed to see a difference.  This is the year that we're supposed to see the number of teen suicides markedly reduced.  We're not off to a good start.
After just the second day of his senior year, 17-year-old Devin Scott, in Colorado Springs, ended his own life.  It has not been confirmed, yet, that bullying was a factor.  And, there are no indications that Devin was an LGBT teen.  

Although bullying hasn't been officially named as the culprit, there is plenty of proof that says otherwise.  It is documented that there was a minor scuffle at Vista Ridge High School that resulted in the person Devin had the run-in with wanting to fight him.  In fact, somewhere between 30-50 people showed up at his house wanting to see the fight.  And, despite the fact that these people pounded on his door and taunted him from outside, no fight materialized.  The assault then continued online, on his facebook account.  According to his mother, Devin disabled his facebook account several times during the summer vacation because of constant cyberbullying.  Angel Bradley, Devin's mother said:
"That's why we're talking about it. This is difficult for me to be talking about this on the day of my son's funeral, but I think awareness needs to be out there. Somebody needs to hear the story so that another family doesn't have to go through this."

A lot is being done to make this year different.  Better.  A lot more needs to be done, obviously.

There is an ever-growing sea of people and organizations working tirelessly in an effort to bring awareness to the bullying issue and try to bring it to an end.  Obviously, none of it was able to save the life of Devin Scott.  However, in his honor, it's time right now, while the school year is in its infancy to redouble our efforts, to work even harder and more focused in our effort to bring the bullying scourge to a screeching halt and work towards greatly reducing the number of teen suicides.  The State of Colorado has an anti-bullying law in effect for all of their schools.  However, having laws on the books is meaningless without more action being taken.  I'm convinced, after seeing this all unfold during the last school year, that it's going to take the efforts of many ordinary people - families, friends, neighbors, concerned citizens - to accomplish our goal.  And, accomplishing this goal is a must.  

There are organizations online as well as suicide prevention lifelines.  We should all strive to have this information memorized.  We never know when we're going to need it!

Devin Scott would've turned 18 on August 20th.  This was his senior year of high school.  He was on the brink of life getting better for him.  Rest in peace, Devin.