The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann’s District
From Mother Jones:
The first was TJ. Then came Samantha, Aaron, Nick, and Kevin. Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion area” because of the unusually high death rate.
Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.
The anti-gay climate in the schools in Bachmann’s district has been so extreme that it has attracted the attention of the Justice Department and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
It’s a very sad and disturbing read, but an important one. We are failing our nation and our nation’s children by allowing this kind of demonization to continue.