In mid-January 2011, a young man in Monroe, NY, Kameron Jacobsen – Age 14, four months into his Freshman-year of high school, Kameron took his own life. According to his parents, he had been the target of bullying both at Monroe Woodbury High School and away from school within the online communities he frequented, Facebook and Formspring. The bullying of Kameron took place over a period of two-and-one-half years. He was thrown into lockers, his jaw was broken in one incident.
Kameron’s mother, Wanda Jacobsen, said, “I say my goodness the pain that I am in. How much pain were you in? Because I’m in so much pain and he must have been so hurt by people that he even called friends.”
In response to an interview query if he thought the bullying his son Kameron sustained was torture, he responded, “It’s gotta be. Psychological torture. Emotional torture. You go back and you see and each one is just another drop of water in the glass and eventually the glass overflows.”
The Jacobsen’s lost their son. They created a foundation Kindness Above Malice (KAM) and Kevin Jacobsen share the story of their son’s life: Meet Kameron Jacobsen. The foundation’s mission statement: “It will be the mission of this foundation to affirm those individual students that have raised the self-esteem of another person thereby preventing the injury that results from bullying. We recognize that protecting and nurturing a high self-esteem is the key to unlocking the motivating factors behind bullying, for both the bully and the victim. We also acknowledge that bullying comes in many different forms and from many different sources.”
CBS News – September 16, 2011 – interview of Kameron’s parents, Wanda and Kevin Jacobsen.
Perhaps not surprising the Monre, NY police department closed their investigation of Kameron’s suicide approximately two-weeks following his death and determined there was no evidence of bullying (Police Close Investigation of Kameron Jacobsen)
Epilogue: Sadly, in January 2012, Kameron’s father, Kevin Jacobsen, took his own life, in the same manner as his son, hanging himself in their Monroe, NY home. The grief upon which Wanda Jacobsen and her family has endured is beyond the pale. We, collectively must engage our schools in adopting pro-social behavior curriculum. We can keep such tragedies as those of the Jacobsen’s from playing out across our land.