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Johnson and Wales University student Raymond Chase hangs himself in dorm room

How can we make these tragedies stop? It’s heartbreaking.

Notice no commentary from this White House about a national call to action regarding this relentless string of youth suicides, particularly those tied to bullying. For an administration that puts out press releases for planting a tree or some minor event, the silence is deafening. (via Perez Hilton):

It is just devastating for us to report that we have learned that Raymond Chase, an openly gay sophomore at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, studying culinary arts committed suicide on Wednesday, several students have informed us.

This case as of this writing, has no information on what may have motivated Chase to take his life, but what is certain is that he didn’t feel there was another option — we need to ensure these young people know about The Trevor Project, and that on-campus groups for LGBTs are in more than a pitiful 7% of campuses, something I heard on NPR during a piece on Tyler Clementi this morning. Campus Pride speaks out:

Campus Pride, the nation’s leading non-profit organization working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally college and university students, offers its condolences and support to the family of Raymond Chase who reportedly hung himself in his residence hall room this past Wednesday, September 29, 2010 on the campus of Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI.

“The loss of Raymond this week is the second college LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks. The suicide of this openly gay young man is for reasons currently unknown; however, the recent pattern of LGBT youth suicides is cause for grave concern,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director and founder of Campus Pride. “Campus Pride demands national action be taken to address youth bullying, harassment and the need for safety and inclusion for LGBT youth at colleges and universities across the country. We must not let these tragic deaths go unnoticed. Together we must act decisively to curb anti-LGBT bias incidents, harassment and acts of violence.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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