School Suspends Suicide Victim’s Bullies

According to reports, officials for the Williamsville Central School District suspended several pupils at North High School last week in connection to bullying related behavior that is thought to have directly contributed to 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer’s September 18 suicide. 

From Buffalo News:

“[The police] shared some information with us, and we followed up,” Superintendent Scott Martzloff said. “We made the determination to take disciplinary action.”


Regarding the severity of punishments these students received, Martzloff said only that the students face “a minimum of suspensions.” That implies at least short-term suspensions of up to five days, with the possibility of long-term suspensions subject to a hearing. Expulsion is not an option for students of this age.

Martzloff said that after following up on the police findings, the district issued the student sanctions Wednesday.

The exact number of kids suspended is unknown, but the criminal investigation into Jamey’s death indicated a number of individuals that may have been involved in bullying the 14-year-old.

This follows Amherst Police Chief John Askey’s recent announcement that he would be closing said criminal investigation without charges because, among other key problems, the ages of Rodemeyer’s bullies means their actions are not prosecutable under the law.

Jamey’s suicide prompted a public outcry, in part because Jamey had only fairly recently created an It Gets Better video designed to let other kids know that they can survive bullying and that, out of high school, life does improve.

The anger over Jamey’s death was further compounded when news surfaced that his bullies had continued to wound Jamey’s family by making it known they were “glad” Jamey was dead.

Yet, while nothing could in any way ameliorate Jamey’s suicide, it is important to recognize that there has been some positive action since then.

For instance Jamey’s death prompted popstar Lady Gaga, of whom he was a devoted fan, to create the Born This Way Foundation dedicated to educating and empowering young people against bullying.

The bullying that Jamey had to endure also served as an impetus for New York State Senator Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) to introduce legislation that would modernize New York’s anti-bullying laws. In particular Klein’s legislation is designed to make tackling cyber bullying easier, something that isn’t necessarily actionable under current law. The legislation would, among other things, expand the charge of Second-Degree Manslaughter (a Class C Felony) to include “bullycide.” The term is defined as when a person engages in cyberbullying and intentionally causes the victim to commit suicide.

It is still unclear at this time whether Jamey’s parents might launch court proceedings over their son’s death.

Related Reading:

Jamey Rodemeyer Death: Police Open Criminal Investigation

Anti-Gay Bullying Leads to Another Teen Suicide

Facebook Launches Stop Bullying App

Image taken from Jamey's It Gets Better Video, no infringement intended.


Jayme Talson
Jayme T6 years ago

I'm so angry over the loss of so many young lives!! I, too, was a bully victim and survivor. However, it does not come without sometimes serious consequences. My bullying was so severe, and was a daily part of my existence, that i finally had to end up quitting school to save my own life. To this day, many years later, i am forever scarred from the pain and harm this caused me. I attempted suicide at a young 15 years old. I'm still here. I, was too destroyed and have been battling depression for years now. I cannot hold down employment and i have only 1 friend that i see once a month. My closest friend is my cat, Chad. He has given me purpose and altho i will never feel completely normal, he brings to me as much normal as i feel i'll ever get. I wish i would of had support when i was going through the misery. I had no one and there was no rules or laws governing this horrendous badgering. The pain is very much alive in my heart today as it was 40 years ago. My life went no where. I accomplished nothing and my contribution to society is zero. I look around me today and see others with their families and close friends and hurt for my lack of a significant other. I'll never know closeness and or have a special person in my life. Who wants a loser? I'm here for a reason altho i'm dumbfounded as to why i am here. Thank you all for reading. I hope that at least someone will learn the dire consequences that comes from hate and bullying. It's too late to say i care to those who ha

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Pamela H.
Pamela H7 years ago

It's twenty years since my son was badly and continuously bullied in high school, over a period of about two years, and yet they still think suspension is the answer. It is not. All it does is give the bully a holiday for his efforts.
It doesn't stop him from waiting at the school gates for his victim, or following him home from school. These thugs should have a restraining order placed on them so that they can't be within a certain distance of those they prey on. They should also have their photo displayed in the school newsletter to 'name and shame'. They get away with it and end up becoming workplace bullies or other types of criminals. High school bullies should have to do the 'scared straight' program too.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal7 years ago

Suspension is not an answer. It will seem to be a vacation rather than a time to reflect on the consequences of bullying another human bieng...

Bobbie T.
Bobbie T7 years ago

it needs to start at home! Parents need to teach their children right from wrong. How about taking control of all the electronics that make it so easy for their out of control brats to bully in the first place. From the time you start to teach your child how to speak, you should also be teaching it to think before they speak. My children were taught to think 1st...if what I want to say were said to me, would it hurt my feelings?; would it make me cry?: If the answer is yes THEN YOU DO NOT SAY IT. It is NEVER OK to say anything hurtfull and if you do there will be consequenses. Ivory soap works wonders on little mouths that use hurtful words.

Patrick F.
Patrick f7 years ago

Ouch, that slap on the wrist really hurt......NOT!

Joe R.
Joe R7 years ago

I'm all for the "bullycide" second-degree manslaughter charge. A strong message has to be sent to these bullies about their actions.

Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel7 years ago

I'm glad to hear something is being done.

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leanne mcivor
leanne Torio7 years ago

Schools need to hire a BULLY BUSTER to walk the school and be villi gent to children that are at risk - the school culture needs to be taught to stand up for victims - to create warm, caring and nurturing places for children - poor little kids that have to go through so much anguish every day! The tides need to be turned on the bullies - they need to be humiliated for hurting other people - outcast ed and astrocized and then maybe bullying will stop!

Tony C.
Tony C7 years ago

A class in RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY should be taught from Grade one to graduation, children should be taught that anything is permissible as long as it does not hurt themselves or anybody else. Common sense would dictate that if children are taught at a very early age that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and that they should use their strengths to help not tease or bully others.
Later on Sex Education should be taught from Contraceptives, Masturbation,LGBT and all forms of sex. Let us face it whether we like it or not children are curious and are having sex earlier and earlier. They should be taught the joys and the consequences of having sex ( Pregnancy,STD, AIDS ) But you say when will this be taught. Cut out Geography or History early on then put it back in and remove Geometry and Algebra. They can learn this in college if need be. I believe this is a solution. Nipping it in the Bud so that Bullying, Sexual Assault, and many others will be greatly diminished if not eradicated. It is my belief that when children graduate with these principals where they are taught RESPECT for themselves and others and to take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. Within a few generations this world would be a much better place to live in.