Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friends: Bullying Led to Tragedy

Midd-West mourns third student death in 8 months

By Tricia Pursell The Daily Item

“It was not about race, or gender, but they bullied him for his sexual preferences and the way he dressed. Which,” she said, “they wrongly accused him of.”

MIDDLEBURG — Students at Midd-West High School cried out against bullying Friday as they mourned the loss of a classmate who in the early morning hours walked about 13 miles from his home to Routes 11-15, where he ran in front of a southbound tractor-trailer after leaving a suicide note at his home.

Freshman Brandon Bitner, 14, of Mount Pleasant Mills, ran in front of the truck at 3 a.m. near Liverpool, according to state police at Newport.

The boy’s family discovered him missing at 3:45 a.m., and contacted police.

The road was closed for about three hours after the crash.

There seems to be little doubt in the students’ minds why Bitner did what he did.

“It was because of bullying,” friend Takara Jo Folk wrote in a letter to The Daily Item.....

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