WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – The Williamsville, N.Y., Central School District on Friday announced the suspension of a student in connection with an alleged bullying incident of Jamey Rodemeyer’s sister at a homecoming event just days after the gay teen took his own life.
On Sept. 18, Jamey committed suicide after being bullied with anti-gay slurs for the past two years, both at school and online.
According to Jamey’s parents, Tim and Tracy Rodemeyer, they allowed their daughter Alyssa to attend a homecoming event following her brother’s wake as a means to reconnect with friends, but when song by Lady Gaga was played, further taunts erupted.
“She was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all of his friends,” said Tracy Rodemeyer. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ and ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that.”
Superintendent Scott Martzloff said the district identified a single student believed responsible for the Sept. 22 incident at the homecoming event, and that he has imposed a long-term suspension which was “to the fullest extent allowed by state education law.”
Martzloff announced the suspension in this video posted on the school district website:
In the video, Martzloff also discusses the school district’s initial response to Jamey’s suicide, and its plans to address the issue of bullying in the future.
The school district and the Amherst, N.Y. Police Department are also investigating the bullying that Jamey endured before he killed himself.
The Amherst Police Department Special Victims Unit has opened a criminal investigation to determine whether to charge some students with harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes. Police said three students in particular might have been involved, although there is no indication yet if the suspended student is among their persons of interest.