Feature Story on Teenage Suicide

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  • Published : November 28, 2010
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Brandon Hirsch

Feature Story

One brave teenager makes a stand for bullying but ends his life in doing so. 14-year-old Brandon Bitner committed suicide by jumping out in front of a southbound tractor-trailer on routes 11/15, hoping that it would leave an impact and that people will realize how much bullying truly affects people.

Bitner, a freshman at Midd-West High School, left his house in Mount Pleasant Mills on November 5th and walked 13 miles until he reached the highway. His parents contacted police when they found his suicide note that he had left behind, but they were too late. They noticed he was missing around 3:45 a.m. The contents of the suicide note are still unknown.

“This situation is truly shocking to the school and community because of the student’s character,” said Midd-West Superintendent Wesley Knapp. “We are still trying to put the pieces together. This student was wonderful, very bright and capable. We had no indication anything like this would happen.” His death came just days after an anti-bullying assembly held at the high school, but the assembly was not held due to problems with bullying. According to student Brianna Boyer, “After the assembly, no one took it seriously, and joked around about it.” Former Midd-West student Erin Barnett also spoke out about this incident: “Bullying should be addressed in every school, and should have a punishment.”

Even though Bitners death was unexpected, bullying in his high school was very common but there was never a reported incident. “Anyone in our school who looks different is tortured,” said sophomore Emily Beall-Ellersieck. “Bullying is a problem at our school, and it needs to be dealt with.”

Takara Jo Folk, a close friend of Bitner’s, told the press that he killed himself strictly because of the bullying. “I do not appreciate... kids bullying others for their own gratification,” said Folk. “Because of bullying, one of my closest friends took his own life.” Bullying...
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