Terry Badger III Cause of Death: How Bullying Drove a Young Baseball Star to Suicide

Terry Badger III was a 13-year-old boy from Covington, Indiana, who had a bright future as a baseball player. He was nicknamed TB3 and had a passion for the sport. He could throw a pitch of more than 70 mph and dreamed of playing for his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals. He was also outgoing, kind, and respectful to everyone he met.

But behind his smile, Terry was suffering from relentless bullying at his middle school. His parents said he was constantly teased, put down, and told to kill himself by his classmates. They said he faced bullying every day for his appearance, his haircuts, his baseball skills, and anything else they could find to mock him.

On March 6, 2023, Terry took his own life at home. He recorded a video on his cellphone in which he named the bullies at school and said they were the reason he was ending his life. His mother, Robyn Badger, was on a quick trip to the gas station when it happened. She said she has lived that day every day since then.

The Impact of Bullying on Mental Health

Terry’s tragic death has raised awareness about the serious consequences of bullying on mental health. According to ABC7 Chicago, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds in the U.S., and bullying is a major risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Bullying can cause low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, isolation, and hopelessness in victims. It can also lead to physical health problems, such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep problems, and substance abuse. Some victims may resort to self-harm or suicide as a way to escape the pain.

According to NBC News, Terry’s parents said he had shown signs of depression and anxiety before his death. They said he had trouble sleeping, lost interest in activities he used to enjoy, and became more withdrawn. They said they tried to get him professional help, but there was a long waiting list for mental health services in their area.

The Need for Anti-Bullying Legislation

Terry’s death has also sparked support for an anti-bullying bill in Indiana that would create a statewide blueprint for schools to end bullying. The bill, known as TB3’s Law after Terry, would require schools to notify the parents of a bullying victim and an alleged bully within a certain time frame after an incident is reported. It would also require schools to determine the severity of the bullying and whether the victim or the bully needs to be transferred to a different school for safety reasons.

The bill was introduced by Democratic State Rep. Vernon G. Smith in February 2023, but it had stalled in the state Senate until Terry’s death put a renewed spotlight on it. More than 86,000 people signed a petition urging the Indiana General Assembly to pass the bill as of April 2023. The bill passed in the state Senate committee on April 7 and is expected to become law as early as next week.

Smith said he believes the bill would have saved Terry’s life and will save others in the future. He said he hopes the bill will send a message that bullying is not acceptable and that schools have a responsibility to protect their students from harm.

Terry’s parents also support the bill and hope it will prevent other families from going through what they have experienced. They said they are proud of their son and want his legacy to be one of kindness and courage.

They also want other bullying victims to know that they are not alone and that there is help available. They urge anyone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues to call or text the new three-digit code at 988 or dial the current toll-free number at 800-273-8255 [TALK]. They also encourage anyone who witnesses or experiences bullying to speak up and report it.

They said they miss their son every day and wish they could have done more to save him.

“He was our world,” Robyn Badger said. “He was everything.”

Doms Desk

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