The death of 14-year-old Raymond Howell, Jr. was ruled a suicide. The McKinney Boyd High School, Texas, freshman’s body was found near a culvert beside busy Eldorado Parkway in McKinney. Friends and sources close to the family indicated that he had been bullied by older kids badly enough that he requested a transfer to another school, according to the Daily Mail.
Police arrived at the scene at about 8 a.m. yesterday. Sabrina Boston, the Police Department’s public information officer, described the investigation as “a process between investigators and the medical examiner’s office.”
Aleena Rogers, 16, a friend of Howell’s since kindergarten, spoke kindly about him as follows according to The Dallas Morning News.
“[He was] an amazing guy with a huge heart. He’s had a hard life, but he was happy and outgoing. He was a great kid, always helping people….There were people who didn’t like him, but it’s life–there’s always someone that won’t like you. But those were very few and far between for him. He was loved by most everyone.”
The tragic news of Raymond’s death spread through the student body through social media. No official report regarding how he died was released through the police or the coroner’s office. Hearsay through friends on social media reported that he died from a bullet wound.
People mourned the great loss of a promising young life. Another friend put a tribute on Instagram, calling Howell “a great, happy, awesome, and nice guy, [adding] I am gonna miss you bro.”
Raymond Howell apparently did not know how loved he was as, unfortunately, bullying pervaded his existence. There was a moment of silence in his name, and students Tweeted in his honor, according to the New York Daily News. A student tweeted the following.
“Walked into class and my teacher was crying this day is heartbreaking #RIPraymond.”
The school’s rotunda demonstrated how much Raymond Howell’s life and death affected students and staff members. The makeshift memorial overflowed with flowers and notes from card-sized to tribute posters.
A District spokesman, Cody Cunningham, released the following statement, according to the Daily Mail.
“It is with great sadness that we were informed this morning of the death of a McKinney Boyd High School student. We recognize there are a lot of unanswered questions at this time, and we ask for your patience as the McKinney Police Department investigates the situation. McKinney ISD will be providing additional counselors and support for staff or students in need of grief counseling.”
The District has not responded to queries regarding whether District officials were aware of the bullying or what, if anything, was done.
What do you think that school districts should do about bullying? Should they take proactive action when bullying exists? What penalties should bullies face?
Another student also committed suicide this week, though not because of bullying. According to an article in the Inquisitr, a 10-year-old boy in New Jersey killed himself after he lost a game of chess. The boy apparently was angered after the winner didn’t say checkmate. It took a tragic turn when he proceeded to jump out of the second-story school window to his death.
[Photo Courtesy Instagram]