Uvalde Foundation For Kids Closes Ohio HS Bullying Investigation Following Student Suicide
Updated: May 14
*Extended Blog Release Regarding Logan High School/Logan-Hocking School District (Ohio)
The Uvalde Foundation For Kids Released In An Updated Press Statement, Early Saturday Morning That, Following An Extensive Week Long Initial Inquiry; It Has Closed Its Independent Bullying Investigation Into Logan High School In Logan, Ohio.
The Announcement Comes Just Days Following A Release Outlining A Planned Protest At The School By The Foundation; With Hundreds Expected To Participate, May 18th @ 11am. The Foundation Noted It In Light Of Recent Developments & Findings; It Has CANCELLED That Event.
The Independent Investigation Was Begun By The Foundation; A National Nonprofit Dedicated To Ending School Violence & Formed In Response To The May 2022 Robb Elementary School Shooting In Uvalde, Texas; At The Ohio High School Of About 1,000 Students; Following The Recent Suicide Death Of 15 Year Old Student, Brice Butcher.
Family & Friends Contended That The Student's Death Was A Direct Result Of Bullying; Ignored By School Officals; Despite His & Others Attempts To Receive Intervention. Additional Students & Concerned Parents Of The School, Also Came Forward Presenting That The Student's Case Is Not An Isolated One.
Foundation Officials, Noted That The Closure Of The Investigation; Which Would Normally Last 12 Weeks If Pressed Forward; Included A Review Of The Schools Response To The Incidents Of Concern, Over 34 Independent Interviews & Research Into Past Bullying & Violent Incidents At The School.
The Release Further Revealed That Information, Recently Obtained By Researchers; Including Some Initial Bullying Claims By Others Determined To Be Unfounded; Contributed To The Decision To Close The Case Review At Its Current Stage.
The Foundation Stated That It Will Continue To Extend Additional Support & National Resources To The School, Students & School Community; To Actively Address Increasing Bullying Prevention & Mental Health Resources To The School.
National Director Of The Foundation; Released The Following Statement On The Investigation:
"We join the community in mourning the loss & seeking answers behind the tragic suicide of Brice. It must be understood that he was in fact bullied. It must also be acknowledged that he joined other bullied students at the school.
However, the foundation's initial review suggests that the issue of bullying in this case should spotlight more on a lack of EDUCATION & empathy in regards to bullying; as opposed to negligence on the schools part; directly causing this young man's suicide.
On the issue of the negligence claims on the part of the school to address the bullying concerns of this student & others - The foundation believes the school has itself consented that far more could have & needs to be done; regarding not only how much was missed in regard to this student & the bullying he endured; but also is developing additional ways whereby to effectively address bullying within its student body overall. As our foundation is able to extend aide to that effect, we will.
It is also important to consider; when we look at whether there is ongoing negligence by a school which if reversed would have been able to intervene to save a persons life; some realities behind the issue of bullying & suicide. FIRST- It can never rightly be justifiably said that bullying alone causes a young person's suicide.
There are many contributing factors in the mental state of anyone struggling to that degree. Now, if any of those factors separately or together; are exasperated by outside forces (E.g. Bullying) and/or mental illness; it can lead to an individuals emotional and mental breakdown.
This, hence, all too often can lead to an individual making emotionally charged or driven reactions.
This is especially relevant with young people; developing mentally and physically themselves as they navigate a world where everything and anything can be quite overwhelming. If a school had ongoing knowledge of the severity of circumstances such as this young man faced & blatantly disregarded their duty to intervene; such as what we are finding in a similar investigation out of New Jersey; then we would have issues & would press the case to whatever extent necessary; including peaceful protests, formal complaints with the State Board Of Education & even civil suits. We take the safety & overall well being of the nation's students that seriously.
In this case - It is the initial finding of our research; that both the bullying & the obvious mental state this young man was in; came more as a shock to all involved; particularly the family.
Any concerns which school administration were privy to; were addressed; albeit inadequately. Yet, again, the foundation asserts that while there was in fact a lack of true awareness & understanding by the school; there was no ongoing individual negligence pertaining to this student; based on our initial findings.
Moving forward, our foundation will continue to monitor the school and district and moreso; will work to establish ongoing collaboration to address the ever daunting task schools such as this, face in protecting their students from violence, in all forms.
The next moves by the school, the school community & this young man's dear family; will, in part, determine how Brice's beloved smile & legacy of kindness live on. Furthermore, their next steps in the days and months ahead; will largely dictate how the students walking the halls of Logan High in the meantime; are both cared for & taught to care for each other."
*A NOTE ON BULLYING & MENTAL HEALTH CARE: It is important to note that the issue of bullying; while it has an impact on an individual's mental health; is itself a behavior issue & must be addressed as such. The behavior must be addressed, in addition to the mental health repercussions of that behavior in others.
What do we know for sure about Bullying and Suicide together?
• We know that bullying behavior and suicide-related behavior are closely related. This means youth who report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior.
• We do know enough about the relationship between bullying and suicide related behavior to make evidence based recommendations to improve prevention efforts.
• We know that most youth who are involved in bullying do NOT engage in suicide-related behavior. It is safe to say that involvement in
bullying, along with other risk factors, mental health, etc., increases the chance that a young person will engage in suicide related behaviors, as noted above.
It is estimated that 160,000 children skip school every day because of fear of attack or intimidation by other students.Ninety percent of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying.
1 in 7 students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
Bullying statistics show that revenge is perhaps one of the strongest motivations behind school shootings & that harassment and bullying have been linked to 75% of school-shooting incidents.
Eighty-seven percent of students said shootings are motivated by a desire to “get back at those who have hurt them”.
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The Uvalde Foundation For Kids
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Ohio Schools Bullying Related Governing Codes:
Original Story Release On Foundation Launch Of Independent Investigation: