Meet Brandon Bitner, age 14. Brandon killed himself on Friday, November 5th by jumping in front of a tractor-trailer, after leaving a suicide note, and walking nearly 13 miles from his home.
From the story:
There seems to be little doubt in the students’ minds why Bitner did what he did.
“It was because of bullying,” friend Takara Jo Folk wrote in a letter to The Daily Item.
“It was not about race, or gender, but they bullied him for his sexual preferences and the way he dressed. Which,” she said, “they wrongly accused him of.”
His death came just days after an anti-bullying assembly at the high school, which, according to district Superintendent Wesley Knapp, was not held in response to any specific problems at the school, but because it is an issue Principal Cynthia Hutchinson has always felt strongly about.
After the assembly, according to student Briana Boyer in another letter to The Daily Item, “No one took it seriously, and joked around about it.”
Former Midd-West student Erin Barnett sent a letter as well, blaming the school, saying that when students report bullying, “Nothing is done.”
“Bullying should be addressed in every school, and should have a punishment,” Barnett said.
“I do not appreciate … kids bullying others for their own gratification,” Folk wrote. “Because of bullying, one of my closest friends took his own life.”
“I am writing this (because) Midd-West School District has bullies, and kids who are bullied are not okay.”
Other high school students on Friday described Bitner as extremely gifted.
“He was very talented,” said sophomore Alley Sharp, of Middleburg, as she remembered an “Evanascence” song he played on his violin at a middle school talent show, wowing the crowd.
Here is a link to a Memorial facebook page set up for him: http://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Brandon-Bitner/163850276981688?v=wall&_fb_noscript=1