November 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Bullying claims the life of Pennsylvania teen

Brandon Bitner (photo courtesy of the Bitner family)

Students at Midd-West High School in Middleburg, Pa., are mourning the suicide of a freshman who ran in front of a truck at 3 a.m. Saturday morning, according to the Daily Item, a regional newspaper.

Brandon Bitner, 14, had been a victim of intense bullying students told the Item. He walked about 13 miles from his home to a busy road where he met his death. He’d left a suicide note at home.

“It was because of bullying,” Takara Jo Folk told the Item. “It was not about race or gender but they bullied him for his sexual preferences and the way he dressed. Which they wrongly accused him of.”

His death came just days after an anti-bullying assembly was held at the school. Student Briana Boyer said the students didn’t take the assembly seriously and joked about it.

  • This is just horrible. When will it stop? Maybe we should consider legal action against the kids that are bullying.

  • Even though there was an anti bully speaker don’t give up on fighting this international epidemic!

  • “MAYBE” consider legal action? There is no “MAYBE” to it. Not only should the teens that perpetrated this horrible action, but the parents of those children, AND the school officials should all be brought up on charges! DEATH is not a laughing matter. A kid committing suicide is not a laughing matter. There is not one damn thing the least little bit funny about having this young boy feel the need to die. No reason for his parents to lose their son in such a horrible way. I say bring charges AND sue the socks off of the kids that did the bullying, their parents, the school system, and that might make it ‘not a laughing matter’. There is ZERO excuse for kids being bullied for ANY reason, it simply is not acceptable! If this were a issue of ethnicity it would be front page news and something would be done about it immediately, but since it is a gay kid committing suicide it is just brushed aside! City, State, and Federal authorities should be all over this like stink on stuff! PARENTS realize this could be YOUR child, maybe not because they are gay, but for ANY reason kids decide to ostracize them.

  • Small-town people and churches didn’t start continuously nagging/harping/voting about how horrible being gay/LGBT was, until Bush and Rove made it acceptable to do so. That’s right – they made it “trendy” to bully people about their “sexual preferences” and gender identity, however perceived. I believe that this is just one more legacy that can and should be attributed directly to George W. Bush and his presidency. He “presided” over the most vocal, anti-gay leadership in America. Ever. Now we are shocked that our most sensitive kids in America feel unwanted? Everyone, give “W” a standing ovation. He still hasn’t tried to make it right.

    • I hated Bush and Rove and believe they have earned a special place in hell. However, I was relentlessly bullied for being a fag and a queer decades before Bush was even a thought.

    • I’m not a big “W” fan at all. IN fact I think he was a moron. But to lay the blame for this trend on him is a bit of a stretch. Kids have been bullying each other since the beginning of time. They just have more means to do so now with the advent of the internet and all its resources. I do agree that groups such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads do nurture this kind of hate. But what are we doing as community to fight this?? We put more effort in planning in ciruit parties than a viable political movement. Organizations such as HRC just spend our money by awarding any celebrity that pops out of the closet. Maybe its time we actually made an effort to flex out socio-economic power to its fullest potential. Until then, we can gripe about the lack of pro LGBT legislation and rhetoric all we want.

      • When Zach Harrington went to the Norman Oklahoma city council meeting, before he killed himself, he wasn’t bullied by any kids… he was bullied by his entire community! The adults. It IS new that an entire industry has sprung up to fight anything positive regarding our well-being. And they are always “alerted” to the “gay threats” by your friendly neighborhood church-lady and church-man… We have all just been bullied by the removal in Iowa of three judges because the voted for equality regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

  • In some cases parents don’t pay enough attention to the children’s life. They don’t teach not to bully and unfortunately some parents want their kids to be number one no matter what it takes even if its by bulling and that’s sad. I teach my kids to accept people for who they are and don’t poke fun of anyone’s faults god made us the way we are for his reasons and we shouldn’t change for anyone.I also teach them to defend the person being bullied and if its their friend doing the bullying tell them its not right . Parents talk to your children do you really want your child responsible for a huge tragedy like this?My heart goes out to the parents of this wonderful boy. I am very sorry for your loss.

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