15-year-old Calhoun County student "bullied to death"; friends n - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

15-year-old Calhoun County student "bullied to death"; friends now taking a stand

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A band of Calhoun County Middle and High school students, Sara Hough, Kenneth Wolf Jr., Anita Wolf, Erin Stevens and Brittany Kearns, are saying enough is enough when it comes to bullying.

Each of them say they've felt the sting of a bully's careless actions.  Anita says people target her because of her speech impediment, Sara because she's short, Brittany because of her asthma and eczema, Erin because he doesn't talk much and Kenneth was branded with an unkind nickname that has stuck with him for years.

"There are kids in there that call me and my group of friends idiots," Sara said, "They say they wish we would die."

"Sometimes I even go home and cry and I just want to move or do something about it,"Anita adds.

Brittany says her bullying got so bad that her parents were forced to pull her out of the school district to begin home schooling her.

"It hurts, I can't do anything about [my eczema] and I can't get rid of it and it hurts really bad," Brittany said.  "I wish they'd realize it or at least spend one day in my shoes to know how it feels." 

These students also say their friend, Justyn, was teased, tormented and torn down day after day, for being gay.

"Last year he got into a fight over someone calling him a f-, a very mean word about gays," Kenneth recounts.

Despite the constant taunting, friends say Justyn was jovial, upbeat and a great friend.  They say, if he was hurting, he hid his pain behind his smile.

"The last thing he said to me was, 'I'll see you later, Kenny,'" Kenneth said.

But later would never come.   On April 20th, Justin Lane Starcher killed himself at his home.  He was only 15-years-old.

When asked what these friends would tell the people that bullied Justyn, their response, "Look what you've done!" Kenneth said. "That's all I can say."

Still aching from the loss, these friends are working to turn Justyn's darkest hour into a source of light and hope for other victims of bullying.

They created the Facebook group, "Justyn Time To End Bullying", to help bring a greater awareness and shed light on the issue of bullying in their area.

"Bullying is like a disease or fire, it's going to burn and leave permanent scars and it's just going to keep eating at you until something is done about it, or its too late." Kenneth said.

"Justyn Time To End Bullying" also encourages people to take a stand against bullying.

The creators of the campaign say, if their message reaches just one bullying victim in time to save a life, Justyn's death will not have been in vain.

"Just try and get it into their head, there's no reason this should go on," Kenneth said. "There's no reason someone should feel cast out or alienated because of the way they are or the way they speak."

Find "Justyn Time To End Bullying" at: https://www.facebook.com/JustynTimeToEndBullying

In memory of 15-year-old Justyn Lane Starcher.