Time to Put a Stop to Bullying

Time to Put a Stop to Bullying

Community rallies to honor bullied boy who took his own life

Snitches get stitches. A news story about bullying has been tugging at my heartstrings the past few days. A kid’s black eye—and the repeated euphemism—makes me wonder how bullies feel in the aftermath of a sickening attack. A 12-year-old student recently took his life on account of bullying. He won’t be coming to school tomorrow, or next week, or ever again.

Do you have a knot in your stomach yet?

I have a knot in mine after reading his story. It’s time to stop this aggressive nonsense.

I was bullied in school, and this breaks my heart—though it makes me wonder where the school officials were and why they didn’t intervene in one bully’s conquest. Honestly, a school suspension is meaningless unless followed up with education. When 12-year-old Drayke came home from school with a black eye, he couldn’t bring himself to “snitch,” because “snitches get stitches.”

The family confronted the problem. The school, Scholar Academy in Tooele, Utah, supposedly became involved when the same student continued to bully Drayke, even issuing a suspension to Drayke’s classmate.

Here is the whole story, like so many other bullying incidents we have read about.

Drayke Hardman was bullied several times at school by a single student. His numb and bereft parents, Samie and Andy Hardman, have held a funeral and buried their son. And now, in Toole, Utah, the parents of a dead 12-year-old boy are sharing their story with other families who may be struggling because their children are being bullied at school.

The breaking point came from those three words: Snitches get stitches. No words can be found to explain this tragedy.

The parents, suffering an unimaginable loss, are calling for good in the community with the hashtag #doitfordrayke. Speaking to local television reporters in the Salt Lake City Metro area, they want to share this message in hopes that something like this will never happen again.

Sadly, it will happen again. Bullies have no limits and know no boundaries.

“I'm angry," Samie said. "I am angry, and I'm hurt and broken. And yet, part of me just wants this bully to find peace to not have any other kids fall, because who's going to be next?"

This sad story has touched hearts worldwide. Instead of a story of achievement and the accolades of a peer group, the devastation of a youth gone too soon from this life is replete with heartache and anguish. Friends and family are broken, but not bitter. This is a testament to their faith and hope in humanity. People from as far away as Australia have messaged support. Locally, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has been affected by this selfish act.

It feels senseless, a 12-year-old kid carrying the weight of his world on his shoulders. The world Drayke knew was cruel. How does one lose all hope? One word.

Bullying.

#doitfordrayke.

This article originally appeared in the March / April 2022 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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