Boy, 13, commits suicide ‘after he was bullied for years for being small’
Johnathon Short-Scaff was found hanged in his bedroom last week
Just the day earlier, he had become upset when bullies at school told him to ‘go kill yourself’, his best friend said
His mom said he told the principal about the bullies but nothing changed
An investigation is now underway into his death
Family: The bullies reportedly targeted Johnathon, pictured with his mother and sisters, for being small
TSC: I think the article speaks for itself. This young man joins a list of young men who took their own life after being tormented by bullies who harassed them for the way they were born. The real problem here is that heightism is such an accepted and even celebrated prejudice in our society that these sorts of things are bound to happen. Also take a look at the comment section at the end of the article. Notice the number of posts blaming Johnathon for taking his life instead of the bullies who harassed him because of their hate for short boys. Also notice the number of people who say “he should have waited until his growth spurt…he may have ended up as tall as the rest of his peers”.
Notice how none of them say anything like “it’s O.K. to be short”. That never comes out of anyone’s mouth.
TSC: Everyone check out this video about Joel Morales. At one point in the video (0:54), the narrator says, “… An “occupational therapist” who worked with Joel at one of his schools because of his diminutive size said…”
So, ignore the fact that the news media used a fairly pejorative word in describing this child’s height, and only focus on the substance. What do they mean here? Joel had an Occupational Therapist assigned to him because he was short? So then I looked up the term “Occupational Therapist” - which led to more confusion.
Occupational therapists treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.
Plus, the same video says that Joel was “painfully small for his age”? This kid almost had to have been shorter than 4’9”. That would have put him in the 25th percentile of 12-year-olds. How is that “painfully small for his age”? And come to think of it, what do they mean by “painfully”? They almost make it sound like his height caused him physical pain, when we know that’s not true. The bullies did that, and society probably caused him some mental pain.
We’ve got to get a grasp on this heightism thing, people.