It's pretty much an article of faith among fundies that anti-bullying programs are merely a stalking horse for the (inhale) radical homosexual agenda (exhale). Well, a tragic story in the Philly suburbs may very well be proof positive of how much we really do need these programs. On January 10, Bailey O'Neill was playing during recess at his elementary school in Delaware County (south of Philly) when he was savagely beaten up by two other students and came out of it with a concussion and a broken nose. A day later, he suffered seizures that were so severe that doctors were forced to put him in a medically-induced coma. Early yesterday morning, Bailey died after being taken off life support.
"Late yesterday, we were informed about the death of Bailey O'Neill," Stephen Butz, superintendent of the Southeast Delco School District wrote in a statement this morning.Bailey's dad, Rob, told WPVI-TV that he noticed something didn't seem right when Bailey came home and started acting moody. The next day, he began having seizures. When there was no sign he was getting better, doctors put him into a coma in late January. It looks like his recovery was slowed down by a recovering immune system--Bailey's grandma, Joy Fecanin, told WCAU-TV that Bailey was recovering from pneumonia and needed a blood transfusion.
"Our school community is deeply saddened by this loss. Our condolences are with Bailey's family and friends during this very difficult time."
O'Neill, a sixth-grader at Darby Township School, was put in a medically induced coma after he began having seizures, which began after another student allegedly punched him on the schoolyard.
At the time, family members said two students were bullying the boy when one of them punched Bailey in the face, breaking his nose.
Bailey was checked out by doctors at DuPont Hospital in Delaware and released, but a few days later, he started having the violent seizures.
The two thugs who beat Bailey up were suspended for two days--a slap on the wrist even before we learned of Bailey's death. Apparently their return spooked Bailey's parents so much that they were forced to take his younger brother out of school.
Delaware County DA Jack Whelan was already investigating the incident, and there's no word yet on whether charges will be filed. But to my mind, there shouldn't even be a debate. Those two boys--and maybe the parents too--need a major reality check.
There's a support page for Bailey and his family on Facebook, Building Hope for Bailey.