04/16/2014 Jonathan Taylor

Attempting suicide after bullying over My Little Pony, 11 year-old Michael Morones suffers extensive brain damage

This case from North Carolina has been ongoing, but USA Today released an article on it two days ago with more information.

On January 23 Tiffany Morones-Suttle walked into her son’s room to find him hanging by his neck on his bunk bed. He had been unconscious for a while. Long enough that his face was blue and his mother could not feel any heartbeat or pulse.

He was rushed to the hospital where he was revived. According to USA Today:

Eleven weeks later, the brown-eyed boy who should be in school with his peers now stares blankly into space from bed after his suicide attempt left him in a persistent vegetative state.

Nearby sits his mother, whose presence at his side is as constant as her determination that no one else endure such a tragedy, which is why she granted The Clarion-Ledger her first in-depth interview since that heartbreaking discovery.

Take a look at this boy’s face.

Michael-morones-attempted-suicide-brain-damage-my-little-ponyThis boy will never be the same again. Although his heart is now beating and his lungs are now breathing, a significant part of his life is not coming back.

And truth be told, his will to live was dead a long time before he attempted suicide.

Serious suicide attempts among middle-school-aged youth have risen 55% in the last decade, CDC data show. They landed more than 24,500 children ages 10-14 in U.S. emergency rooms in 2012 alone.

Although Michael lives in North Carolina, his case gained national attention in part because of an energized community of My Little Pony fans rallying around him — Michael loves My Little Pony, an obsession his mother said triggered some of the bullying at school.

Let’s also bear in mind that men and boys are 80% of suicides. And that is no coincidence. Girls tend to talk through their pain. They engage in help-seeking strategies. But boys are taught to hide their suffering and their vulnerabilities. They are taught and pressured to “be a man,” which apparently means pretending like they don’t bleed or suffer.

And yes, that is a male disadvantage. And it always has been.

Michael had been bullied for a long time. His mother didn’t even know about it until she found him hanging lifeless in his own room. And that’s not because she was not an involved parent. Michael had simply said nothing about it.

Michael also has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which Scott Poland [an expert on bullying and suicide prevention] said is common among youth who commit suicide. Kids with ADHD typically lack the proper support at school, leading them to feel like social and academic failures, Poland said. And they’re impulsive enough to do something drastic about the situation.

Michael was diagnosed at 4 after almost getting kicked out of preschool for his behavior. Medication kept him focused enough to get good grades, but Morones-Suttle said the school failed to make special accommodations despite her repeated pleas. At home, his constant motion would sometimes drive his mother crazy. “Just settle down,” she would think. Stop moving.

Looking at her son now, confined to a hospital bed, she’d give anything to see him run wild. It’s unlikely he’ll ever be able to do so again.

Watching the video above, I noticed that Michael’s mother said something I have been saying for a long time:

Schools need to focus on more than just the academics. They [students] need the social and the emotional support as well.

And that’s why this website talks about far more than just grades. Here we understand that it doesn’t matter how much academic outreach boys get if they can’t set foot on campus because they are dead. Or if they are suspended or expelled over false accusations. And so on. There is so much more to a quality education than just making sure students get good grades on tests and turn in their homework on time.

If you are interested in following this case you can subscribe to the Facebook page dedicated to Michael’s recovery. You can also lend your support at Michael Morones.org.

Let’s hope Michael recovers. But whether he does or does not, let’s make this a wake-up call. Let’s stop bullying men and boys for liking “feminine” things. Because believe it or not, girls aren’t the only ones whose lives are innately delicate.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (10)

  1. Shit like this kinda makes me wish a movement would start within elementary schools to kick the crap out of people who bully bronies, but I guess that is contra-indicated by the elements of harmony.

     
  2. Rob

    Another sad and pathetic story about bullying. Where are these kids parents? Lack of discipline is why some kids grow up to be hollow headed muscle thugs. And like I said on your April 15th article, I hate these types of dufuses as much as I hate feminists. They end up being completely useless to society.

     
  3. Im sure this will be a very unpopular opinion, but personally I think we have it wrong. Bullying is not the problem. That has always existed and will always exist, there is no way around it, its part of interactions between immature individuals (aka children).

    What is the problem is not teaching our kids to grow a backbone. What is the problem is raising entire generations of overprotected kids with the fortitude of a jellyfish and the mental strengh of a hush puppy. Here we have a boy who was let down by his parent. They let him become a weakling, a pathetic little turd who’s identity and sense of life’s importance is built around the four legged equivalent of the carebears.

    “Oh you are so mean and heartless”. Am I? Or am I simply being truthful and its the truth that you dislike? Because im sorry, as someone who has been bullyed himself and for something much more serious than a fucking TV show preference, to attempt suicide at that age for it is not the problem: its the symptome. Normal people dont do something like that. If we wont stop raising a bunch of whimps, lets not get surprised when they crumble whenever the wind doesnt blow the way they expected.

     
    • I appreciate the fact that you are coming at this from a concern for what is best for the boy. I agree that we need to teach children to develop a thick skin. And you’re right, bullies will always exist. I think there’s another element to this other than just kids being bullied, however. That’s the part I want to address here.

      I don’t think his taste for cartoons is the problem in and of itself. When I was 11 I was watching cartoons as well. It wasn’t anything like My Little Pony. It was X-Men and Spider-Man and the like. But they were cartoons nonetheless. And I wasn’t mocked for it.

      Let’s be real here: he’s not mocked and bullied because he’s watching cartoons, but because the cartoons he chooses to watch are considered “girly.” It bears mention that “girly” doesn’t mean weak per se. Girls, for example, have their own methods of conflict resolution. It usually involves going behind people’s backs and spreading rumors about them, rumors which are usually false.

      Or playing the damsel in distress card and getting a big strong man whose sense of self-worth is validated by how well he “protects women” (read: attacks the people women point the finger at) to go beat up or intimidate the people you don’t like. And those methods are fairly effective. It’s also why it’s a good idea to take their claims with a grain of salt.

      But women’s method of conflict resolution relies upon a pre-existing social support system. Which women have always had. Men and boys have no such support systems. They are isolated, and then told to make it on their own. Some do. Some don’t. And that has direct implications in terms of suicide as well. We don’t tell women and girls to “make it on their own.” And we never have.

      I do think he needs to grow out of liking My Little Pony before too long however, not because it’s girly, but because it’s quickly becoming age-inappropriate. And I do want to know why the father is not in the picture – from his side, not just the mother’s side.

       
  4. ayamsirias

    This story is very fishy. Sounds like a hoax to me.

     
      • ayamsirias

        The entire story man, Think about it. It is a typical Hollywood script. Which is the reason why you believe it so quickly. Definitely a hoax. This story is made up to garner attention and most importantly make money. Come on man, you don’t see that? Is it too feel good for you to disbelieve? Then ask yourself this, why do you ultimately believe every word as true simply because you read it here?

         
        • Ok, so just the feel of it.

          I do have some skepticism. In particular, I want to know where the father is, and why. She is a single mother after all.

          However, there’s been more pushback against this article than others. People have told me the kid deserved to kill himself to “rid the gene pool” of people like him. And so forth. Some really disgusting stuff. I’ve even had people walk in to MRA spaces and say that. There’s a lot of irrational hatred against boys who express a liking for “girly” things, and MLP in particular. And I’ve seen it right here in what I’m doing.

          So it’s more than just “a feeling.” Quite simply, people are asses. And I can totally see a kid getting bullied relentlessly over that kind of thing right at the turn of puberty.

           
          • ayamsirias

            And remember to fan a profit be gained from this? Can an agenda be fulfilled by advertising this kind of information? If so, how?

             
  5. ayamsirias

    Look. The bigger and more extravagant the lie, the more likely people will believe it. It is cognitive dissonance. It is difficult for the average human mind to disregard that which they completely do not understand. It is an age old tactic. Trust that feeling. Trust that common sense, because more often than not it is right. The questions you asked about the father and mother are key. They don’t make sense, they draw you to a possible other conclusion because they are so obvious. But you want to deny that initial instinct because it challenges the dumbed down basic error of following the mass opinion. Lies and hoaxes perpetuate by alluding to this logical fallacy. If the story is entertaining enough to convince the majority, you will doubt your own reason. Don’t let them play this mass hypnosis on you.

     

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