Monday, October 4, 2010

Bullying at School

Eleven-year-old Shawn Walsh paid a poignant tribute to the brother, just two years older, that he had lost. Gripping a microphone as he stood at the altar of the First Baptist Church in Tehachapi, California, Shawn joshed that his brother could be "a pain in the butt" at times but that Seth was "the best big brother in the world, no, the galaxy." Wearing a yellow plaid shirt, Seth's favorite color, Shawn then, without mentioning the word, made a heartbreaking reference to bullying, the specter at the heart of his family's mourning for his openly gay brother. "I always wanted to protect him," said Shawn, as sobs broke out in the church. "I just wish people could have been nice to him like my Mom taught me."

People were not always nice to 13-year-old Seth Walsh. Neither his valiant younger brother Shawn, nor his family could protect him from what they insist was chronic teasing. Even before Seth came out as a gay, family and friends claim that he was perpetually picked on for his mannerisms and his style of dressing. The bullying turned Seth Walsh to suicide, one of the spate of such deaths across the country in the last two weeks.

On Sept. 19, his single mother Wendy found him unconscious after he tried to hang himself from a tree in his backyard, after another apparent bullying incident. He lingered on life support for more than a week; his death has since shattered emotions in this rural community 120 miles north of Los Angeles. Close to 600 townspeople crammed into First Baptist on Friday to remember the teen who loved Pokemon, adored French fries above all other food and had an obsession with disco music. The church was so crowded that Pastor Ron Barker had to insist that mourners sit on the floor along the entire length of the middle aisle so that everyone could find room in the church.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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