In the week since 12-year-old Ronin Shimizu committed suicide, outrage has intensified against the bullying that catalyzed the young boy’s tragic decision.
Shimizu had been bullied for years. He enjoyed fashion and cheerleading and local kids, but kids at his Folsom, California school relentlessly teased him until his parents eventually pulled him from the school. They elected to homeschool him in an effort to save him from the abuse.
It wasn’t enough though and Ronin chose to end the pain, along with his life. Now, many are speaking out against the bullying that runs rampant across the country and has led to far too many similar stories.
According to Yahoo News, several tributes have popped up on social media for Ronin in the last week. A Go Fund Me campaign has also raised over $15,000 to assist Shimizu’s family
It’s a sad world we live in when a 12 year old boy is pushed so far that he feels that his only option is to take his own life. #RIPRonin
— Kyle Arthaud (@Captain_Merica2) December 11, 2014
A former Folsom student has also spoken out against bullying in the school while relaying his own story. According to CBS Sacramento, Lance Chih has sued the Folsom school district after he was similarly bullied. Chih says he was also driven to thoughts of suicide. He called for the community to realize their responsibilities, saying, “I think we all play a role in creating a positive school climate.”
Chih reprimanded the Folsom school district for a failure to respond to bullying complaints.
“For myself it took over a year and a half that they acknowledge that received any of my complaint. Unfortunately it’s a little too late because they’ve already lost the life of a student.”
According to StopBullying.gov, suicidal thoughts due to bullying are remarkably common and are especially high among LGBT kids. Over 72% of LGBT adolescent girls have thoughts about suicide, and over 52% have attempted to end their lives.
David Bond of The Trevor Project also told Yahoo News that we must be careful in the wake of support for Ronin Shimizu. He claims the outpouring of support could backfire from its intended purpose.
“For the people who loved Ronin, it’s nice to see, and might be comforting. For other young people potentially considering suicide, that concept of ‘contagion’ is something to be considered — that thought of ‘You’ll miss me when I’m gone’ that can sometimes be reinforced through seeing such loving tributes. So it becomes a very complex situation.”
[Photo courtesy of the Mirror]