The suicide death of their son left the Bresee family stunned and confused, the thought never occurred that it could happen to their family. The painful search to understand Samuel’s decision led them to bullying incidents that occurred at the church he attended, which was spread to his school.
The Bresee family waited in vain for an investigation of their son’s death to begin, those involved to be corrected. Their attempts to get the process started were met with defensiveness, even hostility.
As they read other stories in the news about bullying teen suicides, a pattern appeared in each story. Aggressive efforts to stonewall investigation and justice for the victims, the type that comes with the counsel of attorneys.
Organizations both public and private have institutionalized the protection of serious bullying as a result, placing monetary concerns above the safety and well being of children. The Bresee’s and their many supporters could not stand by and do nothing while the next tragedy occurred, giving birth to The Stop It Foundation. Through education and public pressure a cultural change will come about by which bullying is addressed, the policy guiding it refined.
As the Bresee’s reflected on their tragedy, they had gratitude for the employees of their business who helped carry them financially through their most difficult time, but were keenly aware that not every family had that luxury. They found only scattered materials and support that helped them emotionally work through their most difficult moments. The Stop It Foundation seeks to support families that have shared the Bresee’s tragedy.