In November of 2009, I wrote about the tragic story of a boy in Deerfield Beach, FL who was doused with Alcohol and lit on fire by a bunch of other boys. You would think that, after this happened, both the town and schools would be making changes to their bullying policies.
But just last week, it happened again with another bullying beating incident in Deerfield Beach, FL. This time a 15-year-old girl, Josie Lou Ratley, was beaten severely by a boy, because of a texting conversation they had on her phone. The boy, wearing steel-toed boots, beat and kicked the young girl into a coma and to the point where she had to be airlifted out by helicopter in critical condition.
The story released by the press is that the 15-year-old male suspect, Wayne Treacy, has been dating a 13-year-old girl who does not own a cell phone. The 13-year-old borrows others phones to text and talk to the suspect. She borrowed the victims phone and the victim then started to correspond with the male suspect with messages objecting to the relationship between the 15-year-old male and the 13-year-old female.
Then the male, angry, asked his girlfriend to show him the victim. When she did, he went on the school grounds and started to beat her and kick her, until a teacher pulled him off.
The story and victim was featured on the TODAY show this morning. The pictures of her showed how severe the beating was. The Defense Attorney for the boy claims the boy is suffering because his brother committed suicide and that plays a part in what he did. I don’t think that should be grounds for almost killing an innocent 15-year-old girl.
Further, how is Deefield Beach going to explain two severe incidents in the same school year? What is going on or not going on in that area that allows this type of violent bullying to continue? It’s best summed up by the grandmother of the boy who was burned in November. She issued a statement about this latest beating saying:
My heart goes out to the parents of both of these children. This is another tap on the shoulder that says ‘wake up.’ We need to start paying attention. How many more children are going to be hurt before we start tackling this problem head on?
Hopefully she and others can get Deefield Beach, FL and it’s middle school to start taking the obvious problem they have at that particular location more seriously.