Student Suspended After Rodemeyer Parents Share Story
BY Lucas Grindley
October 03 2011 3:23 PM ET
A student has been punished for chanting during a school dance that 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer is "better off dead" after committing suicide in September in the face of unrelenting bullying.
The students began the taunt as the speakers blared a song by Lady Gaga, who Rodemeyer adored — even being buried in a "Born This Way" T-shirt. There in the auditorium to hear the taunts was Rodemeyer's sister. Parents Tracy and Tim Rodemeyer shared the shocking story during a Today show interview last week after their daughter came home very upset.
Superintendent Scott Martzloff of the Williamsville, N.Y., Central School District reported that the student responsible for the chanting faced suspension "to the fullest extent allowed under education law."
"We will not let the actions of any student threaten the emotional well-being of others," he said in a video message posted on the school district's website.
Martzloff said he'd activated North High School's crisis team in response to the suicide to deal with grief. And he said officials are cooperating with potential criminal charges being investigated by local police.
As a parent of three kids in his district, Martzloff promised "student safety is a top priority for me."
Martzloff said today will be devoted across his district to education about bullying, in conjunction with the World Day of Bullying Prevention.
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