“We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them, ” State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R) said. “They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home.” Watch it:
The Democratic party immediately condemned Faison’s remarks, tweeting, “Did Rep. Faison just say that kids commit suicide because they haven’t been instilled with the right values? What a disgrace.” Faison himself issued an apology: “After reviewing my comments on the House Floor today, I regret what was a poor choice of words. My true intent was to protect children from becoming criminals. Suicide has touched my family, and I would never want a parent or family member to feel they were responsible for such an unimaginable tragedy.”
The bullying measure — which made small changes to a law dealing with bullying and harassment — passed the House in a vote of 76 to 14.
Two recent suicides — in Cheatham and Smith counties — have attracted wide media attention in the state after the students complained of being bullied over their sexual orientation.