Vicar blasts 'terrorist' cyberbullies who drove Emo teen to suicide
Times Online, UK -
Canon John Evans, conducting the funeral of Sam Leeson, said online tormentors who hounded him because of his dark clothes and alternative music taste murdered him as surely "as if someone had killed him with a gun".
He called on companies operating social networking sites to take action against the "cowardly" minority of bullies "hiding in the dark", to prevent such tragedies from happening in future. Those making millions from such sites had a responsibility to tackle online abusers, who he said were "just as bad as those who throw bombs."
Sam was found hanged in his bedroom on June 5, following months of online abuse which his family only uncovered after his death. He had been taunted on his Bebo page about his devotion to the goth-influenced movement, followers of which often have long dark hair and make-up and wear black clothes.
WE CANNOT LET KILLING GO ON
Evening Post, UK
The past few weeks have not been good weeks to be parents. I met a remarkable mother a few days ago whose teenage son Sam committed suicide recently.
Still grieving, Sally Cope was brave enough to come into the TV news studio to talk about her appalling experience. She may well have found it cathartic but she wanted to warn other parents, in an attempt to save them from the pain she's going through and will continue to go through for the rest of her life. She also wanted to encourage teenagers, especially boys, to talk about their problems and not to bottle them up.
The police are scouring the hard drive on Sam's computer because they believe he could have been the latest victim of the new teenage curse of cyber bullying. Detectives think he may have attracted this sickening attention because of his love of "Emo" culture. Incredibly in a survey last week, one in six teenagers admitted to bullying online and also confessed they found it easy to do because it was anonymous.
Like any responsible parent Sally said she monitored what Sam and his younger sister were up to while in front of their laptop, but like all of us, she couldn't stand behind them permanently, watching every single move of the mouse. Sally says the first she knew of the seriousness of Sam's inner turmoil was when she found him, dead. She didn't even have a chance to talk to Sam about what was eating away at him inside. What makes her terrible experience even worse is that more faceless cowards have been altering, in a very unpleasant way, the many tributes to Sam that have been posted on message boards - it's the online equivalent to desecrating a newly dug grave.
Another attempt to define emo:
Tickle Me Emo
Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) 13 Jul 2008