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British coroner rules anti-bullying advocate’s death a result of suicide

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

GLOUCESTERSHIRE, England — Roger Crouch, a former director of children’s services and anti-bullying advocate for youth, died last week as the result of suicide, according to David Dooley, the Deputy Coroner for Gloucestershire.

Family Photo

Roger Crouch, with Dominic

Crouch was the father of 15-year-old Dominic, who had killed himself in May 2010 after apparently suffering from anti-gay bullying.

Following his son’s death, Crouch, a former Director of Children Services in Manchester, worked to ensure that schools must do more to look out for signs of bullying and be aware of students who appear distracted or distressed.

Crouch lobbied schools to ensure anti-bullying policies are used and young people should be taught coping strategies, and called on the UK government to adopt a “victim-centred” definition of bullying.

In a ceremony held in London last month by the LGBT Equality Rights charity Stonewall UK, Crouch was presented with Stonewall’s Hero of the Year award. Crouch advocated for substantial changes so that British schools must treat rumors and teasing as bullying, rather than “banter.”

Crouch, who was employed as a town council clerk of Stow-on-the-Wold near Winchcombe, UK, was declared dead after found hanging in his garage last Monday.

In testimony offered by the medical examiner, coroner’s officer Paul Boak during the proceedings, Boak told the inquest he had been able to identify the victim’s remains based on his investigation into the death of Crouch’s son last year, testifying that he had met Mr. Crouch as a result of the investigation into that tragedy and knew him personally.

After the hearing, the coroner released Crouch’s remains for a scheduled funeral Thursday at St Peter’s Church, located in Winchcombe.

Roger Crouch’s widow said that her husband died of a “broken heart”, having never recovered from the death of their son Dominic, 15, who jumped from a six-storey building near his school in May last year.

“I think the sadness overwhelmed Roger,” she said. “He couldn’t bear to live without Domi. But it was a deep sadness and depression. The seed had been sown when his mother died when he was 11. Roger’s sister died, which knocked him really badly, then months later Domi died, which absolutely floored him. His nephew then died in Afghanistan.”

A saddened local LGBT activist, speaking to LGBTQ Nation on the condition of remaining anonymous remarked, “This what people don’t get-bullying affects more than the victims. There becomes a parade of parties affected and in some cases — this case — die as a result. Words can and do kill, it was all so bloody unnecessary.”

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12 more reader comments:

  1. :(

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:07pm
  2. This isnt gonna end…….is it…….

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:13pm
  3. OFL..

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:14pm
  4. Damn. Wonder how long it’s going to take for the rest of society to wake up and realize this a serious issue that needs to be addressed with changes in policy, not just speech.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:16pm
  5. Oh. there are no words, only tears.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:17pm
  6. Hatred took so much from that family. It’s not fair that they had to die, just because some people refuse to understand.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:17pm
  7. It won’t end until people wake up and realize that we are all the same bone-filled sacks of skin like everyone else… bullying for ANY reason should NEVER be tolerated, and stronger measures need to be taken to ensure that everyone can have the chance to live the life they want to.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:19pm
  8. That is soo sad, Roger and his wife have done so much to help stop the kind of bullying that caused the loss of their son. Sad a sad end for a great man! RIP Roger.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:22pm
  9. So sad.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:22pm
  10. :(

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:23pm
  11. If you are a corporation seeking to improve staff morale, improve productivity, or develop better,customar relation skills,you may want to consider trainings to “stress managenent” or conflict resolution.

    Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 3:39pm
  12. So very sad….condolences to the family – he is in the arms of the angels with Dominic, now.

    Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 12:31pm