Monday, September 26, 2011
Hundreds in Attendance at Jamey Rodemeyer's Funeral
committed suicide over years of homophobic bullying, was laid to rest on Saturday. It was estimated that over 500 mourners, many of whom did not personally know Jamey or his family, attended his funeral in Williamsville, New York. According to Buffalo News, Amherst police are investigating whether or not they can charge the school bullies responsible with harassment, cyberharassment or hate crimes in relation to Jamey's suicide. It should be remembered, however, that Jamey's case is not an unusual one. According to the 2009 National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), nearly 90% of LGBT students experienced harassment at school while two thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation. Other key findings included that 84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed, 18.8% reported being physically assaulted, 72.4% reported hearing slurs such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often, and the reported grade point average of students frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was nearly half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed. This is a strong indication that while bullying is an issue for all school students, it is even more so for LGBT students.