Disabled boy took his own life after he was mugged and bullied

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by algonquin, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    Disabled Pickering boy took his own life after he was mugged and bullied
    Beyond tragic, these kinds of stories make me so nervous about sending my son to school. (He is only 4.5 now.) He has motor and oral appraxia and has an awkward gate and speech problems. Just the kind of kid that gets bullied. He is very handsome and it is horrible to say, but that might help him at school.

    Anytips to help kids?
  2. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    This story just broke my heart. That little boy looks so sweet in the picture, I'll bet he was. Children, in an attempt to feel powerful, can be truly awful to one another.

    Algonquin, I understand your concerns for your son. Would private school or home schooling be an option, at least for awhile? Just a suggestion.
  3. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    I have thought about home schooling, but he is an only child and needs the social contact. Private might be a consideration if he does get bullied.
  4. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    Tragic.
  5. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

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    I think the biggest thing parents can do, is let their kids know they're there for them if something happens like that, but let them know that it's safe to tell them, and unless they're in danger of being hurt, you're leaving it up to them(the kid) as far as what action is taken. I wonder if sometimes kids keep it to themselves because they're afraid their parent will go way overboard and make it worse for them, rather than help. Plenty of these kids have loving parents...I wish there was some definitive way of making sure this stuff doesn't happen.
    TygerLily and (deleted member) like this.
  6. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Delete
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  7. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Bullying is not done exclusively at public schools.
  8. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I attended a private school and would echo was PL said.
  9. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    Teachers and school administrators really need to take bullying seriously. Just one bully can make a kid's life hell. Having to contend with more than one is something no child should have to tackle on his/her own. Among other things, adults shouldn't rely upon children to tell them when someone is harassing or hurting them. They should be more proactive in picking up on their child's non-verbal cues that something is wrong. JMHO.
  10. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Everyone needs to take bullying seriously, teachers, schools admin, parents, students - everyone. Bullying doesn't happen exclusively at schools, it also happens at extra-curricular activities, ice rinks, buses, trains, in the workplace, pretty much everywhere there is more than one person.

    Also, anyone can be bullied, not just kids.
  11. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    ITA. It's also people posting on the internet that can be bullies.
  12. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    The article says the school DID take effective action immediately.

    "The principal removed the accused mugger as soon as he was charged, and paired Mitchell up with an older student mentor to protect him.

    On Labour Day, hours before Mitchell killed himself, he was served with a subpoena to testify against his alleged assailant on Sept. 28. Mitchell was terrified of having to face the other boy in court, his father says."

    The case will likely be dropped because the victim isn't going to testify. The father went on to say that others can always do more to protect disabled kids. I think that video testimony would be better for underage minors than facing the accused in court and recanting what happened.

    They're calling the mugging a pivotal moment in the boy's life that contributed to his physical and mental decline, despite counseling and intervention. Add to it the fact that the boy's devoted mother died three years ago and the father has remarried. He had to be so confused and depressed - the poor child.

    I wonder if moving away entirely to a new setting would have changed the course of his life, if the family could make that change?

    I hope this doesn't turn out to be anything more, like a Zahra Baker story.
  13. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I ache when I read stories like this.
    Bullying has such far-reaching consequences, even with appropriate intervention from schools and parents.
  14. Beefcake

    Beefcake Guest

    :wuzrobbed So tragic.

    I commend the boy's parents, who are saying and doing the right things ... acknowledging that the bullying was one of several factors contributing to Mitchell's trauma and eventual suicide, etc. ... even in the midst of their grief. Strong people.
  15. personwhoishere

    personwhoishere Well-Known Member

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    This makes me so sad. 11 should be such a carefree age in a child's life. Having to suffer through so much at such a young age is difficult to imagine. I hope the boy that mugged him realizes the impact his actions have and can learn how to treat people better.
  16. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    :respec:No argument from me on any of the above.
  17. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, they need to stop calling it "bullying" and call it what it really is...harassment, assault, stalking etc...whatever the level of the crime is. Yes, I said crime. Because if they weren't kids in school and/or school aged, that's exactly what it would be considered. "Bullying" makes it sound so trivial.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  18. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    So many tears for this poor little boy. And it really burns me up that the mugger will get off scot-free now.
  19. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Did the other kids rally around Mitchell? And if so, why not?
  20. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

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    ...as will the mugger's friends!.
  21. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    I've never thought about it this way but you're absolutely right.
  22. tarotx

    tarotx Well-Known Member

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    THIS!!
  23. Beefcake

    Beefcake Guest

    I've actually got more :angryfire with these kids than the original bully/attacker. The latter may have been driven by the possession, and done what he did in the heat of the moment ... perhaps he only initially intended to snag the iPod and abscond?

    No excuses for the other kids, who had already seen the damage that the original attack did to this poor boy, but STILL planned and followed through with stalking and bullying (/ threatnening) him ... equally or IMO more disgusting than the mugger.
  24. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

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  25. Fergus

    Fergus Well-Known Member

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    I will be the first to admit that I know diddly-squat about raising kids, but I'll toss in my $0.02:

    I started taking kickboxing lessons at a MMA gym with my niece when she was in junior high and I cannot even begin to tell you what a difference it has made in her life! She is still a thoughtful, quiet, introspective young lady, but from these lessons she has since developed confidence, grace-under-pressure, and best of all, a friggin' MEAN right hook. :D

    Please know I do NOT condone violence in any way, but there is something to be said for teaching an "easy-target" kid how to stand up for themselves and, if the shit really hits the fan, defend themselves from the bullies.

    Kickboxing, karate, jiu jitsu, whatever you can find in your local area (and fyi: I know they have classes at my niece's gym for kids with emotional/physical issues that require adapted instruction), I strongly recommend it not only for phsyical development, but the emotional/mental confidence it will also inspire!

    (May I also say, the ab work-out the instructor makes us do as a warm-up is very hardcore but my stomach has NEVER been so flat! *Win-Win!*) ;)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Send them the right school.

    The right school is going to vary but you want one where your kid mostly fits in and where kids are supportive of them. Some schools have plenty of disabled students being mainstreamed and the kids are cool with it. Sometimes it depends on the disability or the personality of the kid, sometimes on the culture of the school.

    The mistake I see a lot of parents making (including my own as I was bullied constantly as a child) is assuming that either the school doesn't make a difference or that it's the responsibility of the child to figure out how to deal with the bullying as some sort of "life lesson" it's important to learn.

    I will say that once I applied to a private HS where people had values and approaches to live similar to mine, my social life completely turned around. I went from being teased and made fun of constantly to being popular. And I didn't change a damn thing to make that happen. I was the same person, but now I fit when where I never did at my old schools.

    It's not even that I went from public to private school. If my family had moved to a different town where we fit in more, I probably would have been fine in public school there. It was just being different compounded by being sensitive that made me a target.
  27. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    This makes me so sad, I have a son that is developmentally disabled and I worry every day that he is or could be harassed/ bullied that day. What is worse is that he wouldn't be able to verbalize it to my husband or I.

    What is also horrible is that my older son has to put up with the odd mean comment about his younger brother. Anyone even slightly different in the most menial way can get harassed, I just don't get it.

    All I can do is listen to my older son (who is in karate and excels at it) when he has a tough day and support him the best I can. I have a meeting with the school next week to discuss my youngest IEP so I will be mentioning the comments made to my oldest. Luckily right now my youngest has a 1-1 Educational Assistant...
  28. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Except this kid wasn't harassed until he got mugged. Then, once someone was mad at him and wanted to harass him, they used his disability against him. But before that there was no bullying going on, at least according to the article linked here.

    That is true of a lot of bullying. The bullies have a reason they pick the target they do and, once they find a good target, they figure out something to pick on. If that reason goes away, they pick something else.

    This really isn't a case of a boy being bullied to death for being different IMO. This is a case of a boy being traumatized by a violent event (the mugging) and not being able to recover even with help and interventions.

    That's what makes it kind of chilling to me as a parent. His parents did everything "right". The school did their part. He was getting counseling. But none of it worked.

    This is not what I want to hear as a parent. I want to hear "if you do X, everything will be okay."
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  29. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    IMHO he was an easier target because of his disability for the attack to get to the Iphone. So I firmly believe his disability was used against him by the initial attack. Also, at that age kids know who the easier targets are and I seriously doubt this attacker out of the blue decided to attack him for the IPhone.
  30. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. I was very shy as a child, very quiet, and I had a stutter (still do). I was bullied a bit when I was in elementary and middle school because I was a goody-two-shoes and didn't want to bully others like some girls tried to get me to do. And I was socially awkward. But it was just snide comments here and there, nothing too bad.

    I think us moving to a high school that emphasized academics above all, helped a lot. There, you were looked up to if you were smart, and I was smart. Didn't matter if I fit in otherwise - if the other kids respect you, they'll leave you alone. Or bug you about helping them with homework, but that's tolerable. :p

    Thinking that you're letting the bullies "win" by moving to a new school is the wrong approach. By the time those kids hit 20, they'll either not care anymore, or if they do, they'll be total losers that you wouldn't want to be associating with anyway. There's just no reasoning with an immature kid who gets his rocks off abusing other kids, and I don't see the point in telling bullied kids that they need to learn how to stand up for themselves. From my experience, adults are a lot easier to deal with, and I never had to navigate through physically abusive bullying as a kid to learn that. That's just unnecessary.

    Just get them out of a harmful situation and into a supportive one where they can figure themselves out in peace.
  31. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Just pointing out the obvious, that it's not always feasible to switch a kid's school. Especially if you're in a small town where there's only one public school, and you don't have the funds to pay for private school or a public school in another town (my parents had to shell out $6,000/year for my sister to attend the public high school in the adjoining town). But if parents can move a bullied kid, then I agree it should be explored.
  32. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    But from what was said in the linked article, you could also believe that this kid was treated as a normal kid who had an iPhone the other kid wanted and the mugger didn't see him as disabled at all.

    Both interpretations are supposed by the limited facts we were given. Therefore, I think you are projecting your own anxieties onto the situation.
  33. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps...esp given I have one son who is special needs and another that is 11 years old. This hits home esp hard. It is so so sad.

    But like you said, the article doesn't give any clarification on what had transpired for this poor kid prior to the attack.
  34. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I don't have anything new to add on the bullying topic, but one thing that struck me about the article is that there is so little they can do for patients with muscular dystrophy. I remember doing fund raisers at school for research 50 years ago, and yet not much has changed. I think if this boy had had some sort of future to look forward to he might have withstood the bullying.