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08 October 2010 @ 11:28 pm
Four Bullied Teens Dead In One Ohio School  
MENTOR, Ohio – Sladjana Vidovic's body lay in an open casket, dressed in the sparkly pink dress she had planned to wear to the prom. Days earlier, she had tied one end of a rope around her neck and the other around a bed post before jumping out her bedroom window.

The 16-year-old's last words, scribbled in English and her native Croatian, told of her daily torment at Mentor High School, where students mocked her accent, taunted her with insults like "Slutty Jana" and threw food at her.

It was the fourth time in little more than two years that a bullied high school student in this small Cleveland suburb on Lake Erie died by his or her own hand — three suicides, one overdose of antidepressants. One was bullied for being gay, another for having a learning disability, another for being a boy who happened to like wearing pink.

Now two families -- including the Vidovics -- are suing the school district, claiming their children were bullied to death and the school did nothing to stop it. The lawsuits come after a national spate of high-profile suicides by gay teens and others, and during a time of national soul-searching about what can be done to stop it.
For more details about each bullied student, click the link, above.

I'm glad we are talking more about this, but we all did after Columbine--and not enough schools changed, obviously. I salute the schools who did do something about this epidemic and put effective programs in place. It's time we held all of our schools accountable.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on October 9th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
we all did after Columbine--and not enough schools changed

preach it

three girls in my boys' district sued their school over bullying. i don't know how that's worked out. haven't heard anything about it in a few months now. :(
Tapatitapati on October 10th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
Our society has the attention span of a flea. :(
Warrior of Worrywarriorofworry on October 9th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
This is so sad - and not at all surprising. Having been a victim of savage bullying myself (fat, four-eyed, smart kid) Maybe the worst part was the reaction of adults - "Oh, you're too sensitive", "Oh, just lose some weight and they won't tease you anymore." etc. Yeah, really.

I wonder just how many teen suicides are actually the result of this kind of 'Lord of the Flies' behavoir, and how the adults at the Mentor schools didn't notice or stop it.

@mariadkins: You can keep track of court cases in most jurisdictions by going to the court's website and searching their records. Usually all you need is one party's name.
Tapatitapati on October 10th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
"Oh, you're too sensitive", "Oh, just lose some weight and they won't tease you anymore." etc. Yeah, really.

This bears repeating because I heard it too and then as a parent heard it in relation to my daughter. What a callous and easy way to pass off the responsibility for being bullied or being damaged by it to the victim. It's so reprehensible and yet the people who say this seem oblivious to how wrong it is to say these things and not to take any responsibility at all.

A workplace can get sued for this kind of callous disregard for the environment their employees work in. Schools get a free pass. Kids are more vulnerable than adults so why the hell aren't we giving them more legal protection than we ourselves have? WTF?
Phatchickladybrigid on October 9th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
I was the victim of bullying too. Spent most of junior high avoiding social events because I knew before the end of the evening I'd end up the butt of someone's jokes or worse. The worst memory comes from my sophmore year in high school. One of my worst tormenters was killed in a motorcycle accident a couple of days before school started. While everyone else was horrified, I'm ashamed to admit I was secretly relieved, one less bully to make my life miserable. I felt guilty for feeling that way but I couldn't bring myself to feel any real sorrow over him.
Tapatitapati on October 10th, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
I completely understand where you were coming from and I hope you can have compassion for your traumatized younger self.
Christinekisekileia on October 9th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
I hope the families win.
Tapatitapati on October 10th, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
Me too!