Previously published in Examiner on Mar 5, 2013
According to ABC News in Chicago published today, “A sixth-grader who was injured in an altercation with another boy at school two months ago was taken off life support and died; his suburban school district on Monday made extra counselors available to fellow students. Bailey O’Neill, who had just turned 12, died Sunday morning, family members said. He had suffered a concussion, a broken nose and other injuries during the encounter with the boy at Darby Township School, in suburban Philadelphia, on Jan. 10. He later began having seizures, and doctors induced a coma.”
I feel very sad for the family of that poor boy. I am so happy my son survived; he was also bullied a lot in school.
Bailey told his mother that a taller boy challenged him to fight at recess. His mother said that, “her son declined to fight, saying he was worried about being suspended. She said a boy then pushed him from behind and he was struck in the head about five times.”
Bailey didn’t even want to fight. It is just awful. My son was once hit in the head with a large piece of wood, but fortunately when I came out of the house the boy ran away and my son was not seriously injured.
The teacher and school security did break up the fight but it left Bailey with behavior issues. He had headaches, was dizzy and irritable and slept a lot. His mother said he did not have these issues before the fight. He was rushed to the hospital after the seizures began. The bully was suspended and returned to school.
I know that a concussion can be serious; the child should always be taken to the hospital for a checkup after sustaining a blow to the head. I did when my son was hit in the head ; fortunately he was okay.
ABC news goes on to say, “District Attorney Jack Whelan told the Delaware County Daily Times that he was waiting for autopsy results and re-interviewing witnesses but considered charges to be likely.”
Thirty percent (30%) of U.S. students in grades six through ten are involved in moderate or frequent bullying – as bullies, as victims, or as both – according to the results of the first national survey on this subject. Bullying is increasingly viewed as an important contributor to youth violence, including homicide and suicide .The American Justice Department states that one out of four kids are bullied
According to Brenda High, Director, Bully Police USA, Inc., there are approximately 359,863 children involved in bullying in the Pennsylvania where Bailey lived. Pennsylvania is among the top 10 worst states for bullying.
I feel strongly that more severe measure must be taken where bullying is concerned.