Parents seek right to know about bullying
Jacobe Taras went on a family vacation shortly before he killed himself. Photo: Richard Taras
Schools should be required to tell parents if their child is being bullied, say the parents of a 12-year-old boy who committed suicide in 2015. Richard and Christine Taras, who live near Albany, New York, are suing their son’s middle school and pushing for passage of “Jacobe’s Law,” reports Mary Esch for AP.
The parents say they didn’t realize how badly their son was treated at school until he killed himself with his father’s shotgun.
“Dear Mom and Dad, I’m sorry but I can not live anymore,” Jacobe wrote on a sheet of lined notebook paper in 2015. “I just can’t deal with all the bullies, being called gay … being told to go kill myself. I’m also done with being pushed, punched, tripped.” He signed off, “I LOVE YOU.”
Eight states require schools to “notify parents when their child is being bullied or is bullying other kids,” reports Esch.
But some fear mandatory reporting would force schools to “out” gay, lesbian or transgender students to parents who may not be supportive.
New Jersey may drop automatic notification and let schools decide whether to contact parents on a case-by-case basis, she writes.
Jacobe’s parents said he was bullied for being a Boy Scout, among other issues.