Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another One: Teddy Molina

I remember being bullied in junior high and high school. It was, at times, unbearable; actually, it was always unbearable, but, somehow I made it through. Most of the time, it was one guy who'd call me names, or pretend to shove me.
Teddy Molina had it far worse.
He was relentlessly teased, taunted and bullied by students known as the "Wolf Pack" for being mixed race that he ended up leaving his school.
Then he took his life last week with a hunting rifle.
And it didn't stop after his suicide. An anti-bullying rally at his school, Flour Bluff High school, ended in violence; an online threat about students carrying guns led to a police presence on campus. And yet it's only now that parents are finally stepping up and demanding that something be done about bullying.
Teddy Molina's troubles began when he attended Flour Bluff Intermediate School in Corpus Christi; he was part Korean and part Hispanic, and that, of course, was reason enough to target him.
Molina joined the football team; he was taunted by players and coaches looked the other way. Bullies repeatedly told Teddy they would kill him. His sister even had to rescue Teddy when a group of students cornered him at a taco stand and  threatened to jump him.
Because, you know, he's Korean and Hispanic.
And Teddy kept silent about the bullying, hoping to spare his family the stories of his torment because of his ethnicity. Still, his mother heard what was happening and filed complaints with the school.
And nothing was done. In fact, Lynn Kaylor, spokesperson for the one teach at Flour Bluff School District, when asked, after Teddy Molina's suicide, if the district had a problem with bullying, answered, “No, ma’am, we don’t.”
And yet, Rita McKenzie removed her two children from the district’s junior high school in February due to bullying, saying,  "They know about this problem. They ignore it and do nothing to try to fix it. I don't feel like my kids are safe here. I just don't.”
Superintendent Dr. Julie Carbajal disputed that characterization, saying the district starts anti-bully efforts early: “We have strong policies and procedures for bullying and we have followed [those]." And she adds that in ten years as superintendent, she had not seen any similar incidents to that of Teddy Molina's bullying, and said his loss was devastating: “We want to be able to mourn Teddy ourselves and we want to do something for him in his memory. We’d love to have a memoriam. But we've just not been able to bridge that kind of discussion with the family at this point, and we’re respecting their privacy until they’re ready to talk to us.”
I have a suggestion, Dr. Carbajal. Instead of having a memoriam for Teddy Molina, have an investigation into the "Wolf Pack" that bullied him and remove them from the school. Have an investigation into the coaches who turned a blind eye to the bullying and remove them from the schools.
Save your memorials and do something to stop this from ever happening to another student.
That might be, might be, a fitting tribute to Teddy's memory.

For the whole story of Teddy's bullying, his suicide, and the aftermath, go HERE.


froggy said...

words fail me.

Cubby said...

Over and over we see the victim of bullying removed from school while the perpetrators of this crime go unpunished and set their sights on a new target. I'm so sick of this "boys will be boys" mentality.

Princess said...

Dear Julie,
How many more victims are you looking forward to mourning through your ignorance and inaction?

Kyle Leach said...

Just as in nature a pack moves on after a kill. Until we deal with the packs and the hatred they seed we cannot hope to break the cycle. I think the majority of people give anti-bullying campaigns lip service, because they know things will not change, they will not have to face the bigotry and hatred all of us have in us. Looking at who we really are is the first step to healing the human race.

Rainbow said...

I strongly believe that if it is discovered that a parent posted a complaint with a school in regard to their child being bullied, and the school made no attempt to rectify the problem, the state that funds the school should take some sort of sanctions against them thru their funding! That would seriously get the school faculties attention!!!

Anonymous said...

The tyrants never want or know when to leave
Khadaffi was a terroristic tyrant, he ruled with iron fist
So as Julie Carbajal
Khadaffi had his crew that took care of business, suppressing and repressing people
So as Julie Carbajal
Khadaffi didn’t like freedom of expression at all
So as Julie Carbajal
Fear of rape and being injured was the daily bread on Khadaffi’s regime
So as in Julie’s Carbajal regime
Khadaffi never took action to protect his own people
So as Julie Carbajal
When people wanted to protest he made sure terroristic threats and tactics were used on people
So as Julie Carbajal
Peaceful people that will never think on violence to solve their problems and rather burn themselves were sacrificed.
Same happened with Teddy Molina
Nothing changed in Libya until people took matter into their own hands
So far it certainly looks that nothing will change in Flour Bluff until people take matter into their own hands
Khadaffi got what he deserved
Hopefuly CarbaKhadaffi will receive hers too

Camille Radloff said...

I graduated from Flour Bluff High School; I lived there for 6.5 years and I am friends with some of Teddy's family members. I was saddened and outraged when I got the news of Teddy's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it.
Today, as I was reading my facebook feed, I found that another friend of mine has lost a family member the same way. Her sister's niece, Jennay, was only 12, and she took her own life because she could no longer stand the bullying she was subjected to.
While all school districts have some kind of zero-tolerance for bullying policy, very few actually back up their policy with anything more than lip service.
There is absolutely NO excuse for anyone to feel unsafe in any way in their learning environment!
Schools MUST be forced to uphold their anti-bullying policies by having to put the necessary Standard Operating Procedures into writing and acting accordingly for each and every instance of even suspected bullying! Otherwise, we will continue to see students like Teddy and Jennay take their own lives out of sheer hopelessness.