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TN State GOP Rep. Allegedly Blames Parents for Child Suicides & Now the Fallout Has Begun: 'A Disgrace

"...some in the Republican Party have become the protectors of bullies."

A Tennessee State Representative has turned some heads with his statement that it is a lack of values -- not bullying -- that has been leading some children to tragically take their own lives. On Tuesday, Rep. Jeremy Faison made the comments during a debate in the state's House of Representatives over a cyberbullying bill.

"We can’t continue to legislate everything. We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them," Faison proclaimed. "They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home."

Based on his words, it seems Faison was saying that education about self-esteem in the home is the driving force behind youth suicide rather than rampant bullying.

It didn't take long for the Tennessee Democratic Party to condemn the comments, the Tennessean reports. Here is a statement that was issued just minutes after Faison made his remarks about youths and suicide:

During the debate, Rep. Jeremy Faison spoke out against the bill, displaying a “boys will be boys” mentality towards bullying, and ignoring the public outcry from parents who have lost children to suicide after years of vicious and intolerable harassment.  He then went one step further and said that “I will submit to you today, that they didn’t commit suicide because of somebody bullying them, they committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self esteem came from.”

Faison is apparently blaming the parents of suicide victims for their inability to “instill the proper principles” in their children.  What a disgrace.  Now, of course a tall and burly Faison doesn’t see any problems with bullying, as he admitted, he was perfectly capable of defending himself or dishing out punishment as he saw fit.  But many kids don’t have that ability. That is why laws like these need to be passed.

It is unfortunate that some in the Republican Party have become the protectors of bullies.  Of course, it is not terribly surprising, because as a legislative group they are nothing but bullies, disparaging and demeaning those without power in this country in order to build themselves up.  So it is no wonder that they would see no big deal with the problems associated with childhood bullying in this country, and become the defenders of harassment.

Watch Faison's statements on the Tennessee House floor, below:

Following the incident and the fallout, the politician issued a statement saying that his word choice was regrettable and clarifying the motivating forces behind his opposition to the cyberbullying bill. In his view, childhood bullying should not be criminalized.

"After reviewing my comments on the House Floor today, I regret what was a poor choice of words. My true intent was to protect children from becoming criminals," his statement read. "Suicide has touched my family, and I would never want a parent or family member to feel they were responsible for such an unimaginable tragedy."

(H/T: The Tennessean)

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