Full disclaimer: murder is never okay no matter what you’re going through.
Joseph Ramirez Perez was recently arrested for stabbing a man on a park bench. Unfortunately the man who was stabbed didn’t survive the attack and he died shortly after he was taken to the hospital. There is no motive to why Joseph stabbed and killed this unknown man.
After hearing this news my heart had been broken, because I knew this guy. We went to highschool together and I would even go as far as calling him a friend. It got me thinking a little bit more to why he may have done it. Joseph, who we’d call “Jessie” back in high school, had a few flaws.
He was a little bit on the heavy side, short, walked with a limp, and always had the same expression on his face. All of these made him an easy target to pick on in high school. Jessie was bullied heavily and he turned to drugs to cope, falling down a rabbit hole of bad decisions. He was always known as a weirdo or a creep who would look at you funny, and no one really gave him the time or day. He would be mocked before he had a chance to speak, even I followed the trend to made fun of him. I was just as guilty as anyone of my peers who had done the same.
Near the end of our high school careers I had realized what I was doing was wrong, and befriended him but at the end of the day it didn’t change what I did. He had started taking a therapy class and it seemed to have a positive effect on him. I remember him coming to me and some teachers saying things like “thank you!” and ”you guys are really helping me out, I actually enjoy coming to school now” or even ”I’m actually thinking of going to college now and can’t wait to start my life”.
But even though he was starting to have a positive output in life the bullying still continued. People kept picking on him and it only got worse. It was high school kids at their worst, picking on Jessie because they knew they would get away with it. No one really knew what he was going through at home, myself included, but what he was facing at school didn’t help him at all.
So when he was on the news for killing someone, the bullying didn’t stop there. People actually picked up where they left off saying horrible things about him. Granted, some people didn’t say bad things at all, but there were a lot more negative comments than positive. I strongly believe that the bullying and hazing he was put through in highschool carried on with him. That every name he was called, every look he was given, and pushes and shoves helped create this murderer. That the Downey High School Class of 2015 helped create this man that killed a stranger on a park bench.
This is why bullying is never okay. Picking on someone for how they look or whatever it may be that makes them different is not acceptable. You don’t know what they’re going through or who they are. Not to mention these actions stick with a person and sometimes turns them into something that no one would have ever wanted to be.