Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogOctober is Bullying Prevention Month (as well as many other important causes). I’m going to start the month with a case that prompted a change to state law.

BLOG POST #163: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 16-year-old who ended his life because of cyberbullying.

All American Boy

He was a high school sophomore and an Eagle Scout. In the four months before his death, he went from a happy kid who liked to bug his brothers to a teen pushed to suicide.

From what I’ve read about the case, jealousy fueled the cyberbullying. The primary bully was jealous because the sophomore’s girlfriend was attractive.


His cyberbully and others posted comments on social media saying “Put um inna coffin,” and, “Put em 6 feet under.” Yes, one child began the tormenting campaign, but many others joined in.

The boy’s parents tried to help by transferring their son to a private school. The taunting continued.

His mother will never forget the last day of his life. She reported him missing to the local authorities. He was later found in their backyard.

Legal System

Anticipating charges would be filed against their son’s tormentor, the family learned the County District Attorney felt there was insufficient evidence. The D.A. went on to say at most the case was harassment because there wasn’t physical bullying.

Since then, his family working with a senator from their state successfully passed a law that mandates school reporting of bullying incidents including off-campus bullying and cyberbullying. Requires schools to notify parents when their child has been bullied at school. Schools have greater latitude to expel students for severe bullying, including suicide baiting.

Victims of cyberbullying can now easily obtain a court injunction (similar to a protective order) against a student bully and their parent(s) requiring the parent to stop the cyberbullying.

Harassment provisions have been updated to include current ways cyberbullies attack victims. Cyber-harassment against a child that includes suicide baiting or the violation of an injunction can result in a Class A Misdemeanor charge.

Public Outcry

The victim’s family has spoken publicly about their pain and their senseless loss. His mother talks to students and parents about bullying and cyberbullying. His older brother used Facebook to express his sorrow and pleaded for personal accountability and character building. You can read his post here: Dear Friends and supporters

What are your thoughts about this case? What are your thoughts on how to stop bullying and cyberbullying? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!


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