Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is THIS the price of bullying?

HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Samantha Kelly endured merciless taunting from classmates after they learned that the high school freshman had accused a senior of rape.
The weeks of harassment eventually became too much. Samantha went home from school Monday and hanged herself in this community southwest of Detroit.

UPDATE, 11/11/10: After I posted this (I wrote it last night), I thought about a book that can be taught in middle school and high school. At the time I read it, I didn't like it. I thought it was too much in the genre of dealing with current problems (yes, that is a genre--I just don't remember what it is called). I'm inclined to prefer nonfiction for this kind of issue.

And yet--last night--falling asleep, I wondered: would Samantha Kelly have been helped by reading Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak? Or had she read it, but it wasn't enough?

As Audrey Clark notes, "Rape is not a word that falls freely from the tongue."


  1. All I can think is that if someone is going to accuse someone at the place of school, or employment, of a serious crime, they need full protection going back, or they don't go back.
    It's like being a whistleblower in a company, a snitch for a crime. The person accused may end up in jail, their life ruined and that persons will fight with everything they have to not go there.
    It was unwise for her to return, that's my personal opinion, and someone should have counseled her and the family. I will say that she felt strongly enough to go to the police, then by all means she should have followed through, but someone should have helped her and her family know what to do when she came forward.
    Humans can be quite unkind.

  2. This case turns out to be rather complicated, and Rochelle Riley of the Detroit Free Press tries to unpack some of the issues here.

  3. And now the Lincoln schools and a kindergartner: