New York Students Suspended After Gay Teen Commits Suicide

The Williamsville Central School District has concluded its investigation into the Jamey Rodemeyer suicide, suspending some North High School students after police closed their criminal investigation without filing charges, writes Sandra Tan at Buffalo News.

“[The police] shared some information with us, and we followed up,” Superintendent Scott Martzloff said. “We made the determination to take disciplinary action.”

Martzloff didn’t state how many students actually were suspended, though the Amherst police report indicates that several of Jamey’s classmates were implicated.

Amherst police uncovered five bullying episodes at Williamsville North High School, but cited difficulties in prosecuting the case in announcing last month that no charges would be filed, writes the Associated Press.

As expulsion is not an option for students of this age, Martzloff said only that the students face “a minimum of suspensions,” implying the severity of the punishment will span suspensions of up to five days, with the possibility of long-term suspensions subject to a hearing.

“We want to thank the Amherst Police Department for their thorough investigation,” he said, “and our condolences continue to go out to the Rodemeyer family.”

None of the five incidents of alleged bullying at Williamsville North involving Jamey were brought to the school’s attention or Jamey’s parents’ attention until after Jamey had died and police began investigating, said Police Chief John C. Askey.

A witness said one female classmate who had known Jamey since middle school told Jamey something along the lines of, “Faggot, why don’t you just kill yourself?” while another identified student pushed Jamey as he passed him in the hallway, calling him a “fag”.

Jamey had previously reported in his blog that a group of classmates had spit on a plate of brownies and given them to him, though Askey said investigators found no witnesses to the event in the cafeteria.

The suspensions are part of a continuing investigation at the Williamsville school. In September, a female student was suspended for telling friends of Jamey’s sister that she was glad Jamey was dead. The same student was referenced in at least two of the bullying incidents involving Jamey that police investigated.

Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide at age 14 on Sept. 18 drew national attention, including laments from Lady Gaga over the loss of another promising life to bullying.

Thursday
12 8, 2011
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