Tag Archives: teenager

Colour purple worn for bullied suicides

By Claudie Qumsieh

Victims of homophobic bullying are being remembered today as hundreds of thousands of people wear purple in tribute. In the past month alone at least 10 teenagers have committed suicide in the U.S after bullying related to their sexual orientation.

These high-profile cases have led to a global movement started by gay journalist Dan Savage whose “It gets better” clip has been watched by almost a million people on You Tube.“When a gay teenager commits suicide, it’s because he can’t picture a life for himself that’s filled with joy and family and pleasure and is worth sticking around for[…] So I felt it was really important that, as gay adults, we show them that our lives are good and happy and healthy and that there’s a life worth sticking around for after high school” This project has resulted in hundreds of people (including celebrities) posting their own testimonies and stories of hope on the newly created online video channel “It Gets Better”.

Hillary Clinton joined the campaign today when she posted her video saying “These most recent deaths are a reminder that all Americans have to work harder to overcome bigotry and hatred. I have a message out there for all the young people who are being bullied, or who feel alone and find it hard to imagine a better future.  First of all, hang in there. And ask for help. Your life is so important — to your family, your friends, and to your country.” Clinton goes on to  speak about civil servants who work at the state department “It wasn’t long ago that these men and women would not have been able to serve openly, but today they can. Because it has gotten better. And it will get better for you”.  Although civil servants can be openly gay and keep their job, America’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is still causing controversy. DADT  means that gay military personnel must conceal their sexual orientation when serving otherwise they will be dismissed. A recent call to overrule this policy failed, however one judge has reopened the debate this week.

One supporter of the DADT policy, a Republican Tea Party candidate for US Senate Ken Buck compared homosexuality to alcoholism “I think that birth has an influence over [homosexuality] like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that, basically, you have a choice”.

The U.S case is not unusual. In Scotland young gay and bisexual men are 6.7 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. In an NHS Greater Glasgow survey “Something to tell you” 80% of gay young people said they have experienced discrimination. According to a Stonewall survey 68% of young Scottish lesbian, gay or bisexual people have been bullied at school, 21% of Scottish schools teach that homophobic bullying is wrong. In schools that say homophobic bullying is wrong, gay pupils are 60% less likely to be bullied.

Actor Sir Ian McKellan,Co-founder of Stonewall, is touring schools in the UK to promote tolerance. At a time when educating children about tolerance and difference is a priority, the Christian Institute unhelpfully published an article headlined McKellan “set to promote homosexuality in schools”. As Sir Ian says religionis the one area where people are not frightened to be openly homophobic”.

Teenager admits murder in Edinburgh trial

John Reid. Photo: Edinburgh Evening News

By Elizabeth (Xiaoqing Ding)

A teenager has admitted the killing of a Chinese takeaway driver in Edinburgh.

John Reid, 16, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh High Court to charges of culpable homicide, which took place on August 11.

Simon San, who was born in Vietnam of Chinese Origin worked as a delivery driver of  Yong Hua Gardens Takeaway.  Mr San died of a head injury after being punched by Reid.

“He did not stagger, he fell straight down. The back of his head connected with a flat section of the pavement. I would describe the noise as a sickening thud. He was lying on his back and did not move. I knew straight away he was in trouble,” described by the witness, Callum Milne.

The teenager also took part in a robbery at a home of a disabled mother and her four children several months before. He burst into the home with two other robbers at around 11.50pm on January 11.”I was told again and again that me and my kids would be stabbed to death if we didn’t help them.” said by the mother.

Mr San was described as a hard working, loyal man who never did any harm by his family. ” The San family will never stop grieving for the loss of their much-loved innocent son and brother.” heard from the court. His closed friend said the loss of Mr San had destroyed the family.

Reid allegedly picked on Mr San’s vehicle just because it is a Smart car. Lord Matthews thought the teenager’s behaviour was “unacceptable feral activity”.

The murder is being handled in the High Court in Edinburgh. John Reid will be sentenced next month.

Missing teen was staying with travelling folk in London

By Lori Carnochan and Megan Berkley

A teenager who sparked a police hunt by going missing for three weeks was with travelling people throughout his ordeal, according to a family friend.

Jason Black, 16, from Ratho was reported missing on 8 October, but returned from London in the early hours of 29 October unaware of the fuss he had caused.

Marion Fairley, 24, said Jason was approached by a member of the travelling community who asked if he was homeless and offered him some labouring work in nearby Corstorphine and then London.

It is claimed that Jason agreed and spent the first seven days staying with nine other boys in a cabin in Preston Pans.

Marion said: “Jason felt like he needed some space away from his friends and family.

“He was happy to be offered work and thought it would be fun.”

It is believed that Jason’s grandmother was handing out leaflets in Corstorphine at the same time Jason was working in the area.

After seven days, it is believed Jason was offered the chance to travel down to London for labouring work and he happily accepted.

Marion said: “Jason was very excited about the prospect of working in London and thought he would make some money.”

Jason turned 16 two days before he arrived back home. Marion asked Jason why he didn’t make it home for his birthday and he allegedly said that he just needed some time to himself.

Jason arrived home at 12.30am on Thursday morning and went straight to his mother’s room and said he was home.

He was apparently unaware that anyone had been looking for him and didn’t realise there had been police searches for him.

Marion said: “Jason couldn’t believe it when he went to the post office and seen a ‘Missing Teenager’ poster.”

Jason and his family celebrated his belated birthday with a Chinese take-away on Thursday evening.

Marion believes that the whole community is glad he is back home and safe.

She said: “We are all happy that Jason is back. He has had a good telling off from everyone he knows but the main thing is that he is safe and well.”

Lothian and Borders police were unable to clarify whether Jason had been staying in London, however they did state that they were pleased he had returned home.