Boy Dead after School Shooting: Did Bullying Play a Role?

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Boy Dead after School Shooting: Did Bullying Play a Role?

In the midst of everyone shuffling back to work today – and for many kids who were on February vacation last week, back to school – sadness filled the air in Cleveland, Ohio, as word feverishly spread via panicked phone calls, text messages and tweets that a student – who had reportedly been bullied – made his way into school today and killed one student and wounded four others before being caught.

While the gunman’s name has not yet been released, reports indicate that the student targeted a group of his peers that were sitting at a cafeteria table. Over 1,000 students were screaming up and down the hallways, according to reports, as the day started with gunfire. The suspect, who has not yet been charged, turned himself in after being chased out of the school by two teachers.

According to 15-year-old Danny Komertz who witnessed the shooting, the gunman was known as an outcast and had apparently been a target of bullying.  

"I looked up and this kid was pointing a gun about 10 feet away from me to a group of four kids sitting at a table," Komertz said. He said the gunman fired two shots quickly.

The gunman ended up taking the life of Daniel Parmertor and injured three other male students and one female student. Earlier today, CBS affiliate WOIO-TV in Cleveland reported on air that a 17-year-old boy was listed in serious condition and an 18-year-old woman was in stable condition at the Cleveland Clinic's Hillcrest Hospital in suburban Cleveland.

As the aftermath of the deadly day continues to unfold, kids from Chardon High School have taken to Twitter to recount the tragedy and express their gratitude for their two teachers who played a huge role in driving the shooter out of the school, according to reports.

“Still shaking...i can't believe i just witnessed 4 people getting god,” “So much respect for @Little_Carver and Mr. Hall,” and “Doesn't surprise me coach hall put his life on the line today, always been selfless and put others lives infront of his #truehero” are just some of that statements that have been flowing over the social networking site.

As our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved in today’s tragic day, we may find ourselves asking what went wrong and how did a kid – who has reportedly been bullied – get to the point where he felt there was nowhere else to turn but to take others’ lives. From kids taking their own lives to their peers’ lives, the cycle is continuing and it is only being fueled rapidly by the advent of the Internet and social networking sites that make it easy to bully and ostracize.

Coincidently, while all of this went on today, at the same time, a Superior Court spent today starting to determine the fate of Dharun Ravi, the roommate of Tyler Clementi who allegedly recorded an intimate moment Tyler had with another guy and streamed it across the Internet. Days later, Tyler took his life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

What will today show us about bullying and just how far it has gone? Will it show us that the gunman had suffered months of torment and anguish online? Will it show us that there appeared to be no rhyme or reason such a depraved act was taken against innocent children?

What it will show us – no matter what – is that children seem to be feeling more desperate than ever in today’s world – desperate for all their pain to stop.  So what are we doing wrong? And how can we help? Let this be a lesson.




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