Child suicide story leaves out important detail

Posted on 08 Feb 2010 at 7:58am

Today’s Dallas Morning News has an article on child suicide that leaves out one important detail.

Sure, they talk about bullying in schools being a major reason children commit suicide. They mention that children ages 5 to 12 can certainly be depressed, something thought impossible just a few years ago. They have anxiety, pressure, trauma.

But they leave out one important fact. According to the National Anti-Violence Coalition, a group I met this week at Creating Change, 25 to 40 percent of child suicide is among gay and lesbian youth. Yes, some estimates are as high as 40 percent. Bullying is certainly a top factor, but most bullying in schools is related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Omitting this fact, leaves out any possibility for a cure. Stop anti-gay (and all other) bullying in schools. Force parents to accept their gay and lesbian children or provide safe places for these kids to live.

According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s studies, general anti-bullying laws do not work as well as those that enumerate the types of bullying that must stop. Without sexual orientation and gender identity specified, schools stop bullying in other instances and allow it continue against gay and lesbian students. And child suicide rates continue.

For the Morning News to do such an extensive article and omit this major fact is unconscionable. Maybe if they had taken a quick DART ride four stops from their office and visited the conference attended by more than 2,200 people rather than devote so much time to the Tea Party Convention, which occurred in another city and attracted 600 people at a registration cost of double our local conference, they would have written a more useful article.

The article was written in response to the recent suicide of a 9-year old in The Colony. If bullying was the cause and legislation to stop bullying might have prevented it, our legislators who have prevented passage of this bill since the early 1990s are guilty of manslaughter. And the Morning News has done little to help parents or teachers.

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