Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, 12 June 2008
A GROUP of Northside teenagers are organising a
protest march to rebel against media coverage of their favourite band.The
Hartstown teens are staunchly defending My Chemical Romance (MCR), who were was
recently dubbed a ‘suicide cult’ by an English tabloid newspaper.The young
teenagers are furious over media coverage of the suicide of an English
13-year-old MCR fan.But according to Eiblin Malone, the media’s association
between MCR and suicide are “ridiculous”.“Something of the magnitude of suicide
cannot simply be triggered by music,” she told Northside People.“There has to be
other pretty significant reasons and factors which would cause someone to feel
so isolated.”She added: “I find the band and their songs really uplifting. MCR
have some very positive messages for their fans about life and how to get
through the hard times.” The bubbly 17-year-old called on the public to think
“outside the box”.“A lot of people tend to put kids and the types of music they
listen to into certain categories,” the fifth year student explained.“Teenagers
are branded because of the way they dress and act when really people are far
more complex than that.“I wear black but that doesn’t mean I’m depressed. In
fact, I’m often told that I’m a really happy, chirpy person to be around.”...
The Hartstown local added: “They are the perfect role models if anything. And they shouldn’t be associated with just teenagers as their fan base varies in age from 10 to 30-year-olds.”The march will kick off from St Stephen’s Green at 1pm on Saturday, June 14.“This march, which another friend Sarah Devine helped to organise, is about much more than MCR,” Jessica said.“It’s about suicide awareness and highlighting the unfair labels attached to teenagers.“We have even invited the Samaritans who we hope will be there on the day collecting money for their charity.”
Teenage fans march to defend US band Dublin Northside People, Ireland
Meanwhile another musician attacked the idea that music causes suicideL
Buzznet caught up with Angels & Airwaves front man and former Blink182 frontman Tom DeLonge today who spoke candidly to the recent MCR controversy (they are being blamed for influencing a teen to commit suicide) that made headlines and whether he believe in the whole "music saves lives" idea and if there's too much responsibility on the musician?
DeLonge: "The same sort of thing happened to me with Blink, so I can understand what it's like to be a part of something like that. We had a victim of the Columbine shootings take his life with our song on repeat. You kinda go through these situations where you blame yourself —but you can't. You have no idea who these people are.
"And My Chemical Romance, they spend a lot of time singing about coming together and there's ingredients of rebellion and angst, but what band doesn't have that when you're young?" - Full interview
Look at these comments on the bullying going on at Sam's school. :
I have a daughter at Severnvale who was in the same year as Sam, also my
eldest use to go there and they've both said that bullying is definitely going
on more than the school have acknowledged. When it's time for my youngest
daughter to go to secondary school i will certainly not be sending her to
Severnvale. A.Watkins, Whitminster commented on 13-Jun-2008 13:13 Mr Rowland
clearly does not know a thing about what is happening in his own school. My
sister was also bullied for not only liking a different type of music than the
Chavs who rule the school but for also being clever & enjoying school. On a
number of occasions we spoke to different teachers about this and nothing was
done about it. It ended with her own inner strength and standing up for herself
with the help of understanding friends - nothing to do with teachers. Come on Mr
Rowland stand up to the bullies for people who cannot... S. Nicholls, Gloucester
commented on 13-Jun-2008 13:02
My last comment went off screen. My daughter is
also into emo culture and goes to Severn Vale School. She is constantly bullied
there and always has been. She said it never gets sorted, if you tell a teacher
the bully may get a one hour detention after school and then they are off again.
She knew Sam and said he had been bullied by Severn Vale pupils particularly on
the bus. Our sincere sympathy to all Sam's family and friends it is a
Jane, gloucester commented on 13-Jun-2008 12:03
Quedgeley school plans tribute for tragic Sam.
From the local newspaper.
R.I.P SamAlthough i did not know you, i saw you around school and you
always seemed happy. I throughout a couple of years at Severn Vale was bullied.
I was in that state of mind Sam was, but got through it with friends help. The
problem apparently was not at school but with lads from a different school,
CryptThey apparently threatened him to kill himself, or they would kill him. I
Hope this is investigated down to the full, and mates of sams who know anything
about this please help us.D, Quedgeley Annonymous, Quedgeley, Gloucester
commented on 11-Jun-2008 22:35
My heartfelt sympathies go out to sam's family and friends at this
terrible time.The school really does need to be investigated though as bullying
is commonplace at this school and it is ignored, no matter what some people
might say. My children were both bullied at this school and Mr Rowland turned a
blind eye every time I tried to talk to him about it, he wasnt interested in
anything that would make his school look bad. I eventually removed my children
and placed them elsewhere, my daughter still suffers now from the abuse she
received and is still undergoing counselling to get over it. Gill, Gloucester
commented on 11-Jun-2008 22
I have had 4 children go through their education at Severn Vale with the 2
youngest still at the school and my son was friends with Sam. I would just like
to point out to those of you who are quick to blame the school that the bullying
was NOT taking place on school site, but via the internet and by students from
another local school according to my son and Sam's peers. Students at Severn
Vale (and many of them have commented on here) are extremely happy at Severn
Vale and enjoy fabulous relationships with staff and students alike. It is
totally incorrect to say the school does nothing about bullying. My daughter was
bullied and it was dealt with amazingly well by all the staff particularly Mr
Hunte, Mrs Prescott and Mr Rowland. Their policy is watertight. People really do
need to get their facts straight before being so quick to criticise. Severn Vale
Parent, Gloucester commented on 11-Jun-2008 17:43
I go to Severn Vale school, and to be honest it has shocked me by what they
have said about this. I read a letter today that Sam wasn't a victim of
bullying, and the first thing I thought to myself is "Are you blind?!". Almost
everyone in this school knows he was, they're just trying to protect there
reputation, the whole time I was there thye talked about the high standard they
had, and ofcourse how they promote that they deal with bullys. You don't! You do
flip all to be honest! Sam was a victim of bullying because he dressed
differently, and you failed to see that. Some of The students at your school
have no respect, I know, I see them every day. I hope this has made you think
about how you treat bullying claims from now on. Secondly the Citizen isn't much
better! Your trying to turn the blame onto Emo music, there is nothing wrong
with it, some people just find it easier to releate to. And the quote used by
Mr. Rowland? Stolen from a letter sent out! Rip sam, your in a better place
Did Sam take own life over name calling?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Bullied to death for being Emo music fan
By Geoffrey Lakeman Mirror
A gifted teenager may have killed himself after being bullied over his
love of Emo culture, his family said yesterday.
Sam Leeson, a devotee of the
goth-influenced movement, had designed his own web page on Bebo adorned with
pictures and lyrics of favourite acts such as My Chemical Romance.
The 13-year-old was found hanged in his room a week ago after comments mocking his appearance and taste in music were left on the social networking site. Parents
Sally Cope and Christopher Leeson yesterday spoke of their grief as they called
for tighter regulation of such sites
Sally, 45, said: "He was an alternative dresser and I think other teens did make comments. He was quiet and very thoughtful but had a lot of friends. He was such a loving boy. We just can't believe what has happened."
Once again another alternative teen has been hounded to death. Here are other links to the story:
Investigation into Sam's death begins.Gloucester Citizen,
Bullies blamed after suicide of 'Emo' music fanIndependent, UK
Teenager found hanged was abused on website, say family guardian.co.uk, UK
13-year-old suicide over 'emo' cult bullyingTelegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom - 11 Jun 2008
The Guardian and The Sun seems to be the only ones to link this with Hannah Bond but none
of them link it to the wave of anti emo hate on the Internet the media's coverage
prompted. Alterophobia thinks it is no coincidence... see J' accuse - How the media lies contributed to a suicide...
Some have criticised emo culture for promoting a morbid outlook on life. LastEmo Sam web bully fearsThe Sun, UK - 11 Jun 2008
September Hannah Bond, a 13-year-old from Peckham, south-east London, took
her life. In May more than 100 young emo fans demonstrated in London against
an accusation by the Daily Mail that the culture was "characterised by
depression, self-injury and suicide".
Nothing matches though the breathtaking hypocricy of the DAILY MAIL a good report but no mention of how their lies may have led to a child's death.:
Boy, 13, 'hanged himself after he was bullied on BeboMail , UK - 11 Jun 2008
Sam Leeson's family say the 13-year-old was picked on by other users of the
site because of his 'alternative appearance' and his taste in music.
Bebo for his 'utterly pointless death', Sam's mother said the family discovered
the extent of the bullying only when they checked his Web page after his death.
'I'm not sure what influence these sites have - but if they are a method of expressing things, maybe they should be checked more,' said 45-year-old Sally Cope.
'He was into his appearance and often wore his black skinny jeans. He was an alternative dresser and I think other teenagers did used to make comments about that.'
Bebo users who taunted Sam on the site have since left messages apologising for their conduct.
Sam was a fan of alternative rock bands such as the Foo Fighters and Slipknot, as well as so-called Emo music, championed by bands such as blink-182 and Good Charlotte.
The movement takes its name from the word emotional - a reference to its angst-ridden lyrics and melancholy themes.
It has become increasingly popular with British teenagers since its inception in the U.S. two decades ago.
Followers see the genre as much as a fashion as a style of music. Many dye their hair black and wear dark clothing.
Sam's sister, Emma, 22, said he had also been bullied at school over his interest in the music.
'He used to laugh about it when people mocked him over his dress sense and
music taste, so we didn't realise it was anything serious.
'We saw him as always happy and smiling, but we now think there has been some name-calling about the whole Emo thing. 'We know some bullying has been going on. We do not want to attack the school, as they have been very good, but we are very
upset it has come to this.'
Sam, of Tredworth, Gloucestershire, was found on Thursday by his mother, Sally Cope, and another sister, Katie, 12, when they returned from a short shopping trip.
Tribute videos here
Rest in peace Sam I only hope you are the last.
Sam Leeson is dead. The 13 year old boy killed himself on Thursday June 5th after a campaign of online and real life harassment just because he liked emo and Heavy Metal. Another case of bullicide just like others we have covered.
This was a tragedy. Obviously those who immediately to blame are those bullies who victimised an innocent directly just because he liked a certain type of music and dressed in a certain way.
Behind them however a heavy weight of responsibility rests on the Daily Mail and other media sources who repeated and in some cases sensationalized the reports of Hannah Bond's death and others. Let us examine the time line of events to see what happened:
16 Aug 2006
“ EMO cult warning for parents” The Daily Mail
The Daily Mail publishes a spectacularly inaccurate article. No research evidence is used to back up its conclusions. The article is frequently quoted on anti Emo websites in the next few years. It sparks a wave of criticism from MCR and their fans.
March 25, 2007
"Who said Romance was dead?" TIM DE LISLE
Mail on Sunday, March 25, 2007 Sunday SECTION: FB 04; Pg. 72
In a review of a My Chmical Romance gig a Mail reporter states:
My Chemical Romance are loud, dark, heavily made-up and suddenly
They have even been accused of leading a cult of self-harm, although the
evidence is slight. The subject of self-harm does crop up in chatrooms populated
by the band's fans but they can hardly be blamed for that and their response has
been clear enough: 'We do not encourage self-harm.' They frighten some parents,
but others are here with their children, and some older people are even here of
their own accord. Behind me, two men are reminiscing about a gig by The Damned
My Chemical Romance are not so much objectionable as
puzzlingly hard to place not quite punk, not quite emo, not quite metal. At last
summer's Reading Festival they were pelted with bottles by fans of the veteran
death-metal band Slayer."
It is significant that this report completely contradicts what the Mail claimed about MCR in 2006 and in 2008. Which is correct?
September 22 2007
Hannah Bond commits suicide in East Peckham
January 23rd 2008
Beginning of wave of irresponsible coverage of Bridgend suicides by national media including the Mail which is later criticised as irresponsible by the police and The Samaritans. It is interesting to note that of the 20 young people who have died in Bridgend only one of them seems to be a fan of alternative music. Statistically given the chart success of Emo and metal bands this is well below average. None of the coroner reports has highlighted musical choice as a factor in the Bridgend deaths.
May 8th 2008
Following the verdict of the coroner’s court this local Newspaper article this forms the basis for coverage by national media.
Teenage girl's music obsession suicide link
May 8th 2008
Link to Hannah's bebo tribute page posted online on 4 chan. Immediately it is spammed massively with anti-emo insults .
May 9th 2008 - Telegraph, Mail and Sun
The press sieze on the coroner and local press report. This coverage triggers a further mass wave of anti emo propaganda on the internet. Some of this is the work of elements in association with the Internet group Anonymous. The rest comes from the ongoing sites which ferment anti-emo prejudice. Many of these are frequented by listeners of other alternative music especially metal.
May 14, 2008 Wednesday
Mail publishes a good letter criticising its coverage. Unfortunately it ignores everything it says in an article a few days later:
I'M A 14-YEAR-OLD who loves emo music, but I cannot associate it with the
unfortunate suicide of a 13-year-old girl (Mail). Emo is a music genre, not a
fashion. It doesn't glamorise death it makes people fear it
There's too much labelling and stereotyping these days. Many
people who have read about the new emo 'trend' have bullied me more than before,
because I fitted into the 'emo' description by liking rock music and dying my
hair black. This made my school life utter chaos and it has only recently
started to improve. Why do the newspapers never pick on any other genre or
scene? It's always emo that is under attack and normally without explaining the
difference between emo and goth. There's no way in which you can blame My
Chemical Romance for the suicide of teenagers. The lead singer, Gerard Way, is
one of my few idols.
He's always telling people 'not to kill
themselves because it's not worth it' and that 'you shouldn't let people get you
down'. The group has never promoted suicide. Gerard tells all girls to respect
themselves and not to do as men tell them. He gave me confidence hope,
The main character in the song The Black Parade was a cancer
victim, not a suicide victim. The lyrics mean that despite the fact that you're
dead, we still love you and cherish the memories. They do not mean 'die now and
we'll all remember and glorify you'.
You can't blame music for the
loss of children's lives there are such things as bullying and
SOPHIE BROWN (14), Llandybie, Carms..
16 May 2008
"Why no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo"
By TOM RAWSTORNE Daily Mail 16 May 2008
The Mail continues to distort the truth. This contains a number of inaccurate and misleading statements including the following:
1 - MCR is defiantly an Emo band. – As the Mail reported in 2007 MCR’s association with Emo is questionable.
2 - ) “the 'black parade' is a place where all emos believe they will go when they die” - This is blatantanly untrue. All emos don't belive anything of the kind.
3 - The rate of self harm has indeed risen from as the article states "New figures show that the number of children admitted to hospital due to injuries inflicted on themselves has risen by a third in five years.In 2002/03 there were 11,891 such admissions; in 2006/07 this had risen to 15,955". - However what the Mail does not mention is that the rate of suicide has dropped in that same time period. If Emo/MCR causes suicide it should have peaked in 2006 with MCR reaching no 1. In fact the peak was 1998 long before MCR was formed or emo was popular in the UK.
4 – The article does not mention that MCR has consistently campaigned against Youth suicide and self-harm despite the Mail on Sunday mentioning it in print in 2007.
Like earlier articles this generates a wave of internet controversy.
Mail publishes another letter criticising its coverage:
" I FOUND it very difficult to read Tom Rawstorne s article on Hannah Bond s
suicide because I m a 15-year-old girl who is stereotyped by my peers as emo .
This is because I listen to bands such as My Chemical Romance and wear clothes
that are apparently emo (skinny jeans, studded belts, band tees, hoodies). I
wouldn t mind being stereotyped so much most teenagers are put into some
stereotype. What I mind is going into school every day and having to put up with
people shouting such horrific things as Why aren t you dead, emo? and Emo, go
slit your wrists and die . All this because of how I dress and the bad press my
favourite band gets? Rather unfair, I think....
AOIFE MULLEN, Drogheda, Co
Sat May 31st - MCR/Emo March against Daily Mail's biased reporting.
The Mail claims its reporting is fair and balanced.
Thurs June 5th - Sam Leeson kills himself
Online bullying of Emos certainly has peaked in the last month. There are a number of reports I am gathering that this carried over into real life with an increase in bullying of emos in school and elsewhere.
If I was working for the Daily Mail I would hang my head in shame. The Daily Mail claimed its reports were balanced they were not an example of balanced reporting can be seen in the Times or BBC's reports on the same issue. They created an atmosphere which supported and justified and irrational prejudice. Just like in the 1930s when the Mail headline read "Hurrah for the Black Shirts" their biased reporting has now come back to haunt them.
Alterophobia is in position of interesting new evidence which further highlights the media's irresponsibility in this matter.