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.
had it far worse.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
memorials and do something to stop this from ever happening to another
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.