A California teen who killed himself after years of bullying has sparked a community discussion about the destructive behavior while raising questions among his family about the way he was treated.
Adam Kizer, a 16-year-old sophomore at Sonoma Valley High School near San Francisco, died Saturday at a hospital after being taken off life support, his family said.
He hung himself four days earlier and did not respond to life-saving efforts, said his father, William Kizer.
Mr. Kizer said his son had been a target of bullying since elementary school in Wyoming, where other kids once bound him and poured gasoline on him.
According to pressdemocrat.com, the abuse continued in Sonoma after the family moved there in 2011, with students at Sonoma Valley High picking on the slightly built teen with shaggy hair, encouraging him to take his own life, the father said.
In a show of community support, about 200 people attended a vigil Sunday night at the Sonoma Plaza. Makeshift shrines could be seen at a park near the school as well as on campus, where students were taking final exams before the end of the school year.
Chase Culpepper, a transgender girl, is now getting an apology from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles after she was forced to remove her makeup when trying to take a photo for her first driver’s license in March of last year.
DMV employees told Culpepper, 17, she needed to “look male” in her license photo and refused to provide her with her license until she removed the makeup she was wearing, states ABC News.
A federal lawsuit was filed against the South Carolina DMV on Chase’s behalf by The Transgender Legal Defense Fund.
A 15-year-old California girl hanged herself a week after three classmates photographed themselves sexually assaulting her at a 2012 party. She reportedly was petrified the boys would circulate the photos online and believed gossip about her was spreading widely, according to philly.com.
And perhaps it was spreading widely.
Audrie Pott’s story has captivated those concerned with teen bullying, which appears to be on the rise with the help of smartphones and social media.
A wrongful death trial this month in San Jose will determine whether bullying played a role in the girl’s suicide. What do you think?
Lawyers are scheduled to argue Wednesday over what evidence the jury will hear, while opening statements are expected to start next week.
The three boys, now high school seniors, and other teens are expected to deliver uncomfortable and emotional testimony about the party where Audrie was sexually assaulted after passing out drunk, as well as about other events leading up to her death.
A Massachusetts teenage girl was facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself. She is out on bail, according to KFOR.com.
Conrad Roy, 18, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in his truck behind a K-Mart last summer in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, according to Boston TV station WBZ-TV.
Roy’s cell phone was found next to his body, and showed he had been text messaging with his girlfriend, Michelle Carter, right up until his death, the station reported.
Investigators told the station that at one point, Roy started to back out of the suicide, saying he did not want to leave his family and got out of the truck.
Carter texted Roy to “get back in,” according to court documents released to the station.
Carter’s phone revealed a text message she sent to a friend, saying, “….his death is my fault….I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I told him to get back in.”
She later tweeted that she missed him.
“Enjoy the parade from up there tomorrow Conrad, I know you would of loved to be there ♥ Really missing you tonight pic.twitter.com/rZmSfgGhXS
— Michelle Carter (@michyc47) February 4, 2015
The 18-year-old Carter was indicted earlier this month after authorities concluded she “strongly influenced” Roy’s actions the day he died.
Many news sources do not call him “Christian.” Most sites do call him a “zealot.”
Isaiah Marin, 21, is charged with first-degree murder in Oklahoma in the attack that killed 19-year-old Jacob Crockett. Crockett’s brother, Jesse, described Marin as a “religious zealot” and “heavy drug user,” according to a court affidavit.