A California teen who attempted to commit suicide has died after being in a coma for over a week. CBS News reports that Seth Walsh, age 13, tried to kill himself by hanging from a tree in his backyard after suffering relentless bullying for years because he was gay. Some of the kids who had admitted to the bullying broke down in tears at the news that Seth had died and had “no idea” that it would come to this. No charges are going to be filed in this tragic case. Seth went to school at Jacobsen Middle School in Tehachapi, Calif.. He was on life support for nine days before he died from his injuries.
Other bullying cases have led to tragic consequences over the past few years. Some cases have even been cyberbullying over the Internet. Unfortunately, Seth’s case is not the first one to gain national attention regarding teenage bullying and suicide.
Phoebe Prince was an Irish immigrant to Massachusetts when she took her own life in January of 2010. Phoebe was a victim of cyberbullying at South Hadley High School in western Massachusetts.
Her parents, who brought Phoebe to America from their small Irish village, said that she had trouble adjusting to life in America. Even though she had just accepted a date to the school dance, Phoebe committed suicide after receiving several taunting comments on her Facebook page.
St. Louis, Missouri, teenager Megan Meier committed suicide after a parent down the street disguised herself as a teenage boy on MySpace and taunted the 13-year-old about her weight and sexuality. Megan was three days away from her 14th birthday in October of 2006.
The “boy” she befriended on MySpace was in actuality Lori Drew, a 47-year-old mother of one of Megan’s former friends. No charges were filed in the case, according to the New York Times. A foundation has been created in Megan’s memory to help victims of cyberbullying.
Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover
A vibrant young man who was in Boy Scouts and played football, 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover took his own life in April of 2009 after receiving taunts from classmates that he was gay. According to Carl’s mother, the taunting was daily ever since he started sixth grade the previous September.
Carl died days before his 12th birthday. This tragedy also happened in Massachusetts, less than a year before the Phoebe Prince case.
The case of Seth Walsh has brought to light that being a teenager in America is not easy. Sometimes it is hard for parents to recognize signs of trouble in their kids, even if they talk to their children all of the time.
The best thing that a parent can do is tell their kids they love them no matter what. When a kid like Seth is troubled, it is our duty as parents to help in any way that we can, including seeking the advice of a counselor. Hopefully this new case will shed more light on the need for parents to just talk to their kids to find out what is going on in their lives. It is also a lesson for parents to teach tolerance and love instead of bullying to children.
CBS News, ABC News, and the New York Times provided information for this article.