The Williamsville School District appears to have only one documented case of bullying involving Jamey Rodemeyer, police say. The incident apparently happened when he was a student at Heim Middle School, and disciplinary action was promptly taken.
In an update of the investigation into the Sept. 18 suicide of the 14-year-old Williamsville North High School freshman, Amherst Police Chief John C. Askey said Wednesday that a single documented incident of harassment occurred when Jamey was in seventh grade.
He may have been referring to an incident that Jamey himself recounted in a separate YouTube video six months ago when he was an eighth-grader.
Describing himself as “14 and gay,” Jamey said his class participated in an activity in which students offered their opinions in response to various questions.
In one instance, the question was, “Should gay marriage be legal in all 50 states?”
“A kid was making fun of me because I was gay,” Jamey said. “I didn’t really care. He called me disgusting because being gay is disgusting.”
The student teacher leading the class took action, calling the guidance office and the vice principal, he said. That student wound up with a detention. Jamey said he subsequently went on to defend gay marriage in his class but later left the room in tears.
“I kind of got upset because of the lives that have been lost because of gay bullying, and I ran out of the room crying,” he said.
He ended his two-minute video by giving thanks to his pop star idol, Lady Gaga, and referring to her anthem song, “Born This Way.”
“Lady Gaga, I want to make a difference,” he said. “You are the reason why I am alive. You’re the reason why I was born. I was born this way.”
It’s clear that Jamey lived a lot of his life online, Askey said.
For that reason, Amherst police have turned over Jamey’s computer and cellphone to the Erie County Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory to see if there’s a pattern of bullying that ultimately may warrant charges of aggravated harassment and hate crimes in the coming weeks.
Reprinted by permission.