Terry Badger III was a 13-year-old baseball player from Covington, Indiana, who had a bright future ahead of him. He was passionate about the sport and dreamed of playing for his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals. He was also a kind and outgoing kid who loved to help others and make friends.
However, behind his cheerful smile, Terry was suffering from a serious problem: bullying. According to his parents, Terry faced constant teasing and harassment at school, which affected his self-esteem and mental health. He was called names, mocked for his appearance, and told to kill himself by his peers.
How Did Terry Badger Die?
On March 6, 2023, Terry decided to end his life by suicide. He left a video on his phone in which he named the bullies who tormented him and said they were the reason he was taking his own life. His mother, Robyn Badger, found him dead in their home after she returned from a quick trip to the gas station.
His death shocked and saddened his family, friends, and community, who remembered him as a talented and caring young man. His father, Terry Badger II, said he was proud of his son and wished he could have done more to protect him from the bullies.
What Is Being Done to Prevent Bullying?
Terry’s death has also sparked a movement to prevent bullying and suicide among young people in Indiana. More than 86,000 people signed a petition urging the state legislature to pass an anti-bullying bill that would create a statewide protocol for schools to address bullying incidents.
The bill, known as TB3’s Law in honor of Terry, would require schools to notify the parents of both the victim and the perpetrator of bullying within a certain time frame, and to determine whether the victim or the perpetrator needs to be transferred to a different school for safety reasons. The bill also aims to provide more resources and training for teachers and students on how to prevent and respond to bullying.
The bill passed the state House in February but stalled in the Senate until Terry’s death brought renewed attention to it. It is now expected to become law as early as next week.
How Can We Help Bullying Victims?
Bullying is a serious issue that affects millions of children and adolescents in the U.S. and around the world. It can have devastating consequences for the physical, emotional, and mental health of the victims, as well as their academic performance and social relationships.
If you or someone you know is being bullied, there are some steps you can take to get help:
- Talk to someone you trust, such as a parent, teacher, counselor, or friend. They can offer you support and advice on how to deal with the situation.
- Report the bullying to your school or another authority figure. They can intervene and take action against the bullies and protect you from further harm.
- Seek professional help if you are feeling depressed, anxious, or suicidal. There are many resources available for people who are struggling with mental health issues, such as hotlines, websites, apps, and therapists.
- Remember that you are not alone and that you are valuable and worthy of respect. Do not let the bullies define who you are or what you can achieve. Focus on your strengths, interests, and goals, and surround yourself with positive people who care about you.
Bullying is not a joke or a normal part of growing up. It is a serious problem that needs to be stopped. We can all play a role in creating a safer and kinder environment for everyone by speaking up against bullying, supporting the victims, and promoting respect and empathy.
Terry Badger III was a victim of bullying who lost his life too soon. His story is a tragic reminder of the need for more awareness and action on this issue. Let us honor his memory by working together to end bullying and save lives.