January 5, 2012-

Our community is once again filled with more sadness with the news that 13 year old Alexander Frye was found dead only a few blocks from his home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alexander’s friends and family. He had been missing since New Year’s Eve and while we all hoped for the best, there was a gripping fear that the news would not be good. Death is always tragic but it is most tragic when it is one of our youth. While the details are still sketchy, one thing is clear. We read these stories way too often these days and we really do need to ask ourselves the hard question. Why?

What is there in our society today that causes so many with so much promise to choose to end their lives so young? Alexander was only a year older than my youngest daughter and, as a parent, I can only imagine the void that Alexander’s death has left in the hearts of his parents, his family and so many others that knew him and loved him. There is a helplessness and foreboding that fills me when I read and hear these tragedies. This one is made worse by virtue of it being “bullycide”, that is to say suicide created by the shear desperation of a child so victimized by a bully or bullies that he felt he had no other option. Even the finality of death was apparently better to this poor young man than the thought of going back to school and having to face his tormenters again. This should never have happened!

Schools should be a safe and secure place for our children to go and to learn with great anticipation and eagerness, not a place to be dreaded and feared to the point of death. This tragedy is a double tragedy because, like way too many others, it was preventable. Where were the teachers, administrators, counselors, and school resource officers that should have been there to intercede on this you man’s behalf? Where were all of those he should have trusted to make his school safe and secure? As long as there are boys and girls like Alexander in this community, in this state, this country, this world then  each and every one of us must ask ourselves…WHERE WERE WE?