WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - The suicide of Amherst teen Jamey Rodemeyer has brought many feelings and fears right to the surface, especially for students from Williamsville North, where Jamey went to school. Some students contacted News 4 to talk about their experiences with bullying at school.
It's been four days since Jamey's suicide, and students say they still see a lot of bullying going on in the school. Some said they are trying to stop it by writing a message on their arm.
Samantha Christ and Angelo Caruso are part of a growing number of area teens who are memorializing Jamey Rodemeyer in body ink.
Christ said, "Because he touched so many peoples' hearts. It's great to see so many people write it and promote it."
They're writing NO-H8 (No Hate), a message that took off across the country in recent months after celebrity supporters put together a PSA. It's designed to raise awareness about the gay or perceived gay teens who have taken their lives because of the relentless bullying. Teens throughout WNY are now writing NO-H8 in memory of Jamey.
"It just upsets me a lot because people take bullying for granted, like shake it off. It could have been those last words that sent him over the top," said Caruso.
Like most area school districts, Williamsville has been proactive in terms of bringing anti-bullying programs to students. But Christ, a senior, believes they fall on deaf ears.
Christ said, "Like, I give them credit yes, but I don't think students take it seriously."
Since Sunday's suicide, she claims the tormentors in school haven't stopped, and nobody says anything. While Christ didn't know her school's policy for making a complaint on bullying, Caruso said St. Joe's makes it very clear. They turn to an adult or deacon.
"He won't make a big deal, but will say, 'You get caught, you will be suspended,'" said Caruso.
Williamsville district officials claim students are told to report bullying incidents to an adult or teacher. Complaints are then passed on to an administrator, and investigated. Christ hopes it's pushed more.
Christ said, "Everybody needs to step up; everyone needs to stop."
The district's anti-bullying policy and discipline measures are clearly stated in the school's code of conduct. When there's a violation, officials say action is taken. The problem is that many students are reluctant to file an initial complaint with an adult or teacher, and that needs to change.
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