Bullying and Suicide is has become a major problem in schools across the country. Over four thousand kids commit suicide every year and unfortunately Detroit teen Billy Watts Jr. is one of them.
“I got a call at work about him and they just said he was missing at first, so i decided to go on his Instagram page,” said friend of Billy Jazlyn Dixon.
It was on Instagram where Billy posted pictures giving clues that he wanted to take his own life. Friends of Billy describe him as being a deep thinker and for Jazln Dixon she says his suicide could have been prevented if someone would have just listened to him.
“It’s something that could have been prevented if we would have took what he said more seriously.”
At the young age of 18 Billy took his own life by jumping into the Detroit River, never to be seen or heard from again.
With the student safety initiative OKAY2SAY, supported by Michigan attorney Bill Schuette students, teachers and parents can to fight bullying and suicide.
“When we think of bullying we think of somebody targeting a child and repeatedly doing things to them, most kids give up on giving to adults when they tell and nothing happened and they tell and nothing happens. They start to feel hopeless and eventually stop telling,” said Forest View Elementary Teach Kelli Fortino.
OKAY2SAY empowers Michigan students, parents and school personnel to share and respond to student safety threats by using their mobile app, website and phone number- they can report when they or someone they know are being harassed, bullied or have thoughts of suicide.
“Kid’s don’t have access to counselors anymore, most of those positions have been cut. Giving kids the chance to talk, listening to them so they feel like it matters that they said something it what is most important,” said Fortino.
Attorney Bill Schuette is encouraging the senate education committee to vote to continue Okay2Say. The senate will be voting on new and old education bills on May 2nd