Ray Rice speaks out against bullying after death of 12-year-old

Published On March 4, 2013 | By Kimberly Petalas

A tragedy shook Delaware this weekend when 12-year-old Bailey O’Neill died at a hospital after a bullying incident at school sent him in a coma and caused him to suffer several seizures. Bailey’s family says during recess at Darby Township School back in January, O’Neill was jumped by two classmates and left with a concussion and a broken nose.

On Sunday afternoon, Ray Rice (or one of his publicists) took to Facebook on behalf of the O’Neill family.

“After learning last Thursday that doctors said Bailey had no longer had any brain activity, I reached out to the family and was able to spend about 45 minutes on the phone with them. I could hear their sadness, worry, frustration and grief. They would be faced with removing their son, cousin, nephew, and best friend from life support,” read the post on Rice’s Facebook.

“I don’t think I will ever be able to understand why kids bully each other and how we are all sitting here after yet another ‘bully death’ getting ready to go through this difficult task of picking up the pieces and the even more difficult task of forgiving so we can heal.”

The students who beat O’Neill were suspended for two days, but it is not known if they are going to be criminally charged.

Rice urged everyone to start taking bullying more seriously.

“I don’t know if the kid that did this to Bailey will be punished severely enough or if he will receive the help I know he truly needs. Bullying doesn’t happen for no reason…we have to figure out what the underlying cause it and treat it like the illness it is…But, I DO KNOW THIS: I will NOT give up my fight. Everyday I will continue to fight AGAINST bullying and fight FOR kindness,” Rice posted.

“Bailey – my little buddy, I will not let you become just another bully statistic…you are my inspiration and one more angel that will help me continue the fight for kids everywhere. You are going to help me save lives. RIP my little friend.”

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About The Author

Kimberly graduated from Hofstra University in December 2012. She has been a sports fan her whole life and grew up around sports, whether it was playing or watching them. She started her writing career interning for her local newspaper, The Gardner News, where she currently works as a reporter. In college, Kimberly wrote for Long Island Report, as well as Her Campus Hofstra.