When I first read this article, it seems like yet another tragic story about a boy who committed suicide after being bullied for years. Yet, like all stories, it’s not simply black and white. Gregory Spring suffered from two neurological disorders, Tourette syndrome and callosum dysgeneis. These disorders limited his speech functions and the ability to understand information and emotion. Perhaps because of these disorders Gregory felt bullied from the fourth grade until he was seventeen when he took his life. Even after his death, a message appeared online: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA HE DIED!!!!!! I HOPE HE IS IN HELLLLLLLL.” Tragically, the same message appeared at the funeral home where Gregory’s service took place. Devastated, his parents contacted the local media and an investigation was eventually conducted. After a thorough investigation, the school’s superintendent found Gregory’s death unrelated to bullying. In fact, she said he was never bullied. When I first read this statement, I couldn’t understand how the school had reached this conclusion.  So I wrote to the author of the article, Chris Weller of MedicalDaily.com.  Chris responded to me immediately, taking the time to explain that while Gregory’s family believed he was bullied the school did not because each had different amounts of information and saw the situation differently.  Chris educated me that this is quite common in bullying situations. What message do we take away from this tragedy? If we know someone who believes they are a victim of bullying we need to speak up, to support them, to have a conversation with them or find someone who can.  As Chris Weller said about bullying “publicizing it is embarrassing but withholding it is traumatic.”

 

Click here to read the full article: http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/16889/20130626/gregory-spring-teen-suicide-bullying-after-death-teen-bullying-tourette-syndrome.htm

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