ONTD Political

Suicides caused by bad parenting, not bullying

4:15 pm - 04/25/2012
According to Jeremy Faison (R, TN). He apparently issued an "apology", though.

Jeremy Faison, Tennessee Representative, Says Suicides Caused By Bad Parenting, Not Bullying

A Tennessee-based lawmaker raised more than a few eyebrows this week after suggesting that children were committing suicide were doing so because they "were not instilled the proper principles" at home.

As The Tennessean is reporting, State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) spoke up against a proposed cyberbullying bill, and may have been alluding to the recent suicides by Phillip Parker and Jacob Rogers, both of whom had allegedly complained of being bullied over their sexual orientation in the state.

"We can’t continue to legislate everything," he said in his speech. "We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them. They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home."

Faison continued, "Now, instead of sending children to the principal's audience, we're sending them to the criminal court...there's people in this room right here who, at one time in their life, were a bully. But you didn't grow up to be a bad person."

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Democratic Party decried Faison's comments on the group's official blog. "What a disgrace," the spokesperson wrote, slamming what they described as Faison's "boys will be boys" mentality. “It is unfortunate that some in the Republican Party have become the protectors of bullies. Of course, it is not terribly surprising, because as a legislative group they are nothing but bullies, disparaging and demeaning those without power in this country in order to build themselves up."

Faison reportedly issued a statement in which he apologized for his "poor choice of words, The Tennessean notes. "My true intent was to protect children from becoming criminals," he wrote. "Suicide has touched my family, and I would never want a parent or family member to feel they were responsible for such an unimaginable tragedy."

Earlier this month, the state's infamous "Don’t Say Gay" bill reportedly advanced in a House committee by a vote of 8-7 on Tuesday and will now "go to the calendar committee before a floor vote," according to ThinkProgress. That bill would reportedly make it illegal for educators to discuss any sexual behavior apart from heterosexuality with students in kindergarten up through the eighth grade.
kitanabychoice tw for self-mutilation and suicide attempts?25th-Apr-2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
There is some truth to his statement, but only a little. Yes, self-esteem starts at home, but there is no way for parents to deflect everything that happens in schools, with friends, in relationships that kids/teens build.

I had really great self-esteem when I was 16, but shortly after I got my first boyfriend and between his behavior and many of our mutual friends condoning and joining in on the behavior, my self-esteem tanked out. He hit me, made fun of me, encouraged others to make fun of me, and I didn't know how to deal because I was young, and I was 'in love' and thought there really was something wrong with me. I attempted suicide a few times, was hospitalized even, and cut myself all up trying to deal with how I was feeling.

And there was nothing my grandmother could do about my self-esteem except to remind me that she loved me because I was just that deep in despair. So fuck this guy and his sweeping statements.
adelheide Re: tw for self-mutilation and suicide attempts?25th-Apr-2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
Yes. Parents have very little control about what their kids are exposed to once their kids start going to school. While parents still play an influential role in their childrens lives, peers have a great impact the older the child gets.

Very often, letting a child know how much they are loved is huge because everyone else is telling them the opposite. I'm glad you had your grandmother in your corner.
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