R.I.P Laisha Gross: Bullying Will Stop and People Are Here

single_candle2Hey guys, before you keep on reading, it would be nice if you stopped for a brief moment of silence.

On Sunday, February 17, 2013, Laisha Gross attempted suicide by hanging. The young girl did not die right away, but was sent to a D.C. hospital where she died on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:15 A.M. after sustaining injuries. That same day, at 9:50 A.M. all teachers at E. Russell Hicks read a letter that announced Laisha’s death. All I heard, was silence. None of us seemed to process the fact. None of us knew the girl either in our Geometry class.

Regardless of my previous sentence, everybody was stunned. I feel like I speak for everybody in my class, and most of the people in the school at that moment, when I say that we’ve all heard of people committing suicide. None of us really thought anybody would do it, even with lots of people with suicidal thoughts and depression. As the letter was read to just under 800 kids at the same time, emotions and thoughts flowed in after a minute of realization.

From what I believe, the B.O.E. sent members to assist our two amazing guidance counselors. Everybody who needed somebody to talk to about the situation at hand was welcomed to. As I went to DI and lunch I saw a what I call a memorial for Laisha in the cafeteria. A picture of her on a huge pink sheet of paper was put up on the far wall opposite the lunch line across what Hicks students refer to as, “The Pit.” Just about everyone signed the wall.

That wall, was took up by the 8th grade alone, as we had 1st lunch. By the end of the day the size of that pink sheet going from the ceiling to the floor was tripled. 7th graders were crying and my Spanish benchmark was postponed. Our teacher had the student for Spanish and she couldn’t bear giving the 7th grade class the benchmark, so she didn’t for us. The day itself, was one I did not experience in full, as I am not a 7th grader. I could only observe.

I felt it necessary the next day, as an announcer on the morning broadcast team, to ask for a moment of silence for the whole school. I felt that was something I could do at least to pay respects. I had a field trip that day to see Henry V in Washington D.C. so I was unable to see how the school was the next day. But when I got home and went on Facebook, I learned more about possible speculations about what pushed the girl to committing suicide.

I do not want to jump the gun on anything or anyone, because that would be unprofessional and assuming is not what needs to be done in this situation. I have heard though, that a girl in the 7th grade might have bullied that girl, or that she had trouble at home. Most likely, being a student at the school, the cause was bullying. Three years tells you a lot about the status quo of any place, especially an educational one.

With this incident, I’ve rethought a couple things over the past couple years, and I’m pretty sure all of the 8th graders have along with most of the school. I don’t want to blame anybody for the circumstances everybody has faced, but I think this deserves some cognitive truth about what really goes on in school now. School is not what it was like years ago, I think this generation with all the technology at our hands has made us ignorant.

With the generation gap between the teachers and the students, I think they take it for granted that 11-14 year olds aren’t maturing faster. I can’t even explain it, but what I can explain, teachers need to be more interactive with their students. The teachers can’t just be sitting at their desks and letting their students work. The teachers really need to find out what students are doing, what they’re talking about really, instead of playing innocent.

Everybody except for a literal 2 people in every grade say something mean to other people. For us 8th graders, it honestly seems like we’re just playing around. We grew up with this type of joking around. But when somebody takes it too far, especially to another person who isn’t like us, it may become damaging. Maybe this is the truth, or it’s just from my hardened perspective as a person who doesn’t really take insults or jokes to heart.

Parents. are also this way, too. Older parents are most likely naive about what goes in their kids’ lives. Parents really need to talk to their kids, and be accepted. A problem is that sometimes kids are to scared to tell their parents the truth, and they keep feelings and thoughts bundled inside. If students are unable to talk to a family member honestly, I believe they can talk to a school’s guidance counselor.

From experiences and peer knowledge, my school’s counselors are amazing. People are here for anybody that needs help. Finding the right person, is the hard part, but there is somebody that people can talk to. As I write this, today, Monday for myself, two girls were going to fight three times today. After what happened at E. Russell Hicks, I don’t understand why somebody would attempt to harm another person. That’s something I can’t understand.

The point of this blog post is not to rant about what can be changed and what’s wrong with society, it’s to show everybody that this modern day consumer materialistic society can over come the challenges brought in 2013. There’s always that one person, out of 7 billion, that can help you. I know humans aren’t perfect, but if you say something mean to somebody, say “sorry, I was wrong.” That’s a good habit to practice. Learn from this mistakes, don’t be hypocritical and communicate and teach your experiences. Just be nice. Please.

Bullying needs to – and will –  stop,




image courtesy morgueFile.com

Young people in our community have been touched by violence and by the tragic loss of a young life this week. Memorial Recreation Center, Inc. is hosting a candlelight vigil at 7 pm on Monday, February 25, as part of a STOP the VIOLENCE/STOP the ABUSE campaign. Together, we can work together to recognize and respond to abuse and bullying.

If you are concerned about the effect of violence on young people in our community, please join in on Monday. Memorial Recreation Center is located at 109 West North Avenue, Hagerstown.

For more information, visit Memorial Recreation Center on Facebook.

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10 Responses to R.I.P Laisha Gross: Bullying Will Stop and People Are Here

  1. Shalom Black Lane February 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Hey Phoenix, thanks for your mature insights on this tragedy. I hope that you, and teens like you, will take this as a battle cry and help put an end to bullying. I also hope that teens will learn from this that they need to reach out when they or a friend needs help. Things CAN get better.

  2. ms.deneen February 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    my daughter has dealt with bullying since 4th grade and now she is in 7th and still has the issues. kids steal her shoes and her clothes and im low income I cant afford to keep replacing stuff these kids steal and what does the school do,,,,,,, nothing even my housekeys were stolen the girl admitted to it and they still did nothing!!!!!.ANY CHILD THAT BULLYS ANOTHER CHILD SHOULD BE SENT TO THE BAD KIDS SCHOOL AND HAVE TO STAY THERE UNLESS THEY SHOW POTENTIAL OF GROWING UP. WCBOE NEEDS TO REVISE THE BULLYING POLICY PERIOD. all I know is that the school might not do a damn thing but let one kid put there hands on my child and then im going to step in and it will not be pretty!

  3. Pam February 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Hello Community, We got to stand by these kids they are hurting inside, my grand daughter has not been her self for quite some time she’s always got this attitude I don’t care,the family has tried to talk to her she comes off say “I dont care” “I dont care” it hurts to see my two oldest grand kids going through it or anybody for that matter of some one hurting them. So last night my son kids mother call him to tell him that she is sending his daughter to stay with him until a week to see if he can cool her down because she wont listen to her. So the man that I raise as a single parent took over the situation. So we goes to the school today to pick her up so he can talk to her but she didnt want to hear what he had to say she just wanted to be with her friends so he told her to come to our house so he can here her side of the story why she is disrespecting her mom. Well she said that mommy dont have time for her because she got a new man in her life and that she all about him and that they always got to go over his house, thats when my daughter started to cry to her daddy so thats when everything came out about the kids at her school is teasing how she look and her weight and about her glasses. So my son was telling her about him being tease in school and the same things they tease you about they tease me about he told her so her tears turn into question why do people tease people and my son explain to her as best as he could and than he ask her did you go to the Guidance Counselor she says yes but she dont do anything and my son ask herwhat do you want her to do and she said TELL THEM TO STOP. My two oldest grand kids was molested so they got a lot on them they blame their self so what happened to them and his friend talk to my grandkids everyday on the phone or when they come to my house about all of this mess that is happening to kids, man and women. Im a child of God and God is telling me to get this out in the opening it just so happen I send it on my facebook.God bless that child that had to go through this without feeling that she was along that she couldnt talk to her family about how she was feeling inside I wish she would had reach out to anybody so they could hear her CRY. What i’m going to leave about tragic of the young girl, is Parents have talk time around your dinner table ask kids what is going on in school, ouside, in the house, on the buses, where every they are listen they have a voice and they need to be HEARD BEFORE IT HAPPENS AGAIN. I HAD TALK TIME AROUND MY TABLE WHEN MY KIDS WAS OLDER ENOUGH TO TELL ME WHATS GOING ON AND THAT IS NO LIE. IT WORKS. I DO IT WITH MY GRANDKIDS but for some reason they dont want to open up but I dont give up on them or any kids that feel comfortable to talk to me. My kids friends was over my house all the time and I treated them like they was my own kids. They got the talk time to. They are adults now and the respect me so god bless you all. JUST LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS

  4. TIF February 26, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    My son goes to Clear Spring and he has been picked on since he started here in 6th grade. The things that he’s been told are so ignorant such as, just go home and kill yourself because nobody likes you, you’re poor, you look like a mouse etc. We’ve been to the GC and assistant VP of the school and he does try to help. But as he said, we can’t possibly follow the kids around all day. The bullying needs to stop at the student level, kids need to speak up to get this to stop. And the teachers need to pay more attention to what is going on and what is being said. My son’s math teacher thought he was socializing in class but it was another kid who has picked on him all year calling him gay, faggot etc. This same kid has been punished 2X for picking on him and of course because my son said things back he received consequences. He’s come home crying and angry asking me why people are so mean, why can’t they just leave him alone? I am now having him talk to a therapist to help him deal with people like this. I may not be able to change those kids but I can help my son deal with their ignorant treatment. The good thing is that he does tell me a lot of what goes on, even if he is at fault. All he really wants is for these kids to like him, I feel so helpless sometimes. We didn’t treat people like this when I was growing up and some people at that time would actually stand up for anyone being picked on. Schools need to hold assemblies every month or two and reiterate that bullying will not be tolerated at any level. God bless you all.

  5. Kristy February 26, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I taught my kids from a young age do not make fun of others I don’t go for that **** and I will whip their *** kids can’t help the way they dress , look, etc . And for you bully’s how do you know what they can afford or what they live like . I think most bully’s are jealous and that is why they bully .. My 10 year old son came home from school one day and said a kid was being bullied by the class my son attends bester elementary the next day when he got home from school he said mom I have to tell you something and promise you won’t be mad I said what I promise he said I took a pair of my good shoes to school today and have them to my friend because his shoes were falling apart and kids were making fun of him . He took a pair of 100 Jordan’s , I said baby boy I’m not mad I’m proud you have done a great thing today. He said I waited till after school when we were walking home to give them to him so no one knew and they would make another reason to bully him if they knew I gave him shoes . My 10 year old son has a huge heart and did a great thing for another child . He said he defends him daily . I am glad I taught my kids to love and never judge people I’m glad I have a caring son and I know he will grow to do great things .. As for you bully’s stop and think about the feelings of others I bet if someone made fun of you you would be in tears … STOP BULLY’S

  6. Ai February 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Wow. Very deep and awakening post. I will re-dedicate myself to stopping bullying in my classroom.

  7. Tyree Sterling March 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    My name is Tyree Sterling I’m from Washinton County, MD. I do school assembly’s my main one theoughout the school year is on “Anti-bullying.” There is a way to stop this craziness. Empowering the bystanders to step up and report what they see. So many times to one who I the victim seems too overwhelmed and needs a “hero” unfortunately we as the authority are the last to know. My assembly does just that (see http://www.RockYourMic.com).

    At the beginning of the 2013 school year I received a direct message on tweeter from a girl who lives in Bedford County, PA. Long story short: she grow up with some girls since elementary school, her parents separated when she was in middle school, her families financial situation went down hill, her friends didn’t. Financial issues plus depression caused her to become overweight while her friends stayed skinny and became the “in” crowd (cheerleaders). Her friends started to join the crowd that made fun of her. One weekend she decided to commit suicide but she said, “Rock Your Mic came to my school and changed my life.” At the end of the assembly her childhood friends came up to her said sorry and asked for forgiveness. She said she was thankful that she didn’t go through with the suicide because he now knows that life is worth living.

    Everyone needs a hero! Someone’s got to step in and make it happen for someone! The world is our platform, we’ve got it ROCK it!

  8. jessica April 9, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    I just had to comment my oldest child went to e russel hicks and was bullied it escalated so quickly we were following procedures to get her out of the school she became extremely depressed suicidal and withdraw within two months. When I was wanting the situation delt with I was met with great insensitivity to the issue I was shocked and appalled. This situation sadly does not surprise me it was only a matter of time. My prayers go out to all involved.

  9. courtney harley August 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    hey my name is Courtney Harley I am Laisha’s big sister I was going to south high when all of this happen I just wanna say thank you for this telling her story I hope this stop kids from bullying I also heard my sister and some of her friends made a pact to do what she did all I got to say is if you a kid looking for help go to someone you trust and tell them what’s going on killing yourself is not the answer your just hurting other people when you do that


  1. Bullying and What Goes on in a Teens’ Life in 2013 – Part 2 of Bullying Will Stop and People Are Here | Teens Have Choices - February 27, 2013

    […] guys, this is my follow up blog for my initial one about the death of Laisha Gross. I felt that I had missed some key points about bullying and I had more to explain about what […]

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