Sixth-grader dies from bullying day after he is 12 years old

A suburban Philadelphia sixth-grader has died weeks after he suffered injuries in a fight at school, as authorities probe whether he may have been bullied.
Family members say Bailey O’Neill died after being taken off life support Sunday morning, a day after he turned 12.

He had suffered a concussion, a broken nose and other injuries during the encounter with another boy at Darby Township School, in suburban Philadelphia, on Jan. 10. He later began having seizures, and doctors induced a coma.

Bailey told his mother, Jina Risoldi, that he had been at recess when the boy, who was taller, challenged him to a fight.

Risoldi said last month that her son declined to fight, saying he was worried about being suspended. She said a boy then pushed him from behind and he was struck in the head about five times.

“This is not a fight between two boys,” she said. “My son didn’t fight back.”

Risoldi said school security and a teacher rushed in to break it up.

Bailey spent the rest of the day at school, but over the following days he complained of severe headaches and dizziness, began sleeping a lot and became irritable and confused, his mother said.

“He had no problems before the fight,” Risoldi said last month. “He was always extremely healthy, rarely got sick.”

Bailey was an honor roll student who served on the student council, and he enjoyed baseball and swimming.

His mother said the other boy had challenged him to a fight earlier that week, and she had questions about whether the school did enough to prevent the encounter.

She said school officials were aware the boy had a history of bullying other children. She said the boy was suspended and subsequently returned to class. reports police and the Delaware County District Attorney’s office are looking into whether Bailey had been bullied at school before the incident, but say they have no evidence of that so far.

The Associated Press reports District Attorney Jack Whelan told the Delaware County Daily Times that he was waiting for autopsy results and re-interviewing witnesses but considered charges to be likely.

Flags were flown at half-staff at the elementary school Bailey attended on Monday, as many remembered the boy as kind.

“He was always polite, the kindest little boy you would ever want to know,” neighbor Joyce Neroni told

Police say they have re-interviewed half a dozen people in the case, from teachers to the other boy involved in the fight, and have examined school records.

The school district said in a statement on its website it is cooperating with local authorities.

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23 responses to this post.

  1. There is much bullying in Japan. Schools, polices, and local governments began to cope with it at last.



  2. Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes on March 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    The ‘like’ just to be clear, is for your raising this to awareness.

    Headline after headline, occasion after occasion, WHAT THE FK IS HAPPENING???????

    I am so thoroughly enraged. This is murder. Had it happen between men at a nightclub – pushed from behind, struck, life support, coma, death, it’s a murder investigation.

    God bless, God bless.



    • Thank you for visiting. Truly there is something amiss in our justice system. I have been researching since 2007 when my son Ray Zachry was discovered by a neighbor – he was unresponsive. The coroner has blocked all efforts for a death investigation and if you have read any of my rants you will know that I am more than a little inflamed. The more I discover the more concerned I become. What is happening to our civility?

      God Bless.



  3. This young man was in the wrong place – i.e. the wrong COUNTRY – at the wrong time. Darby is near where I grew up. The Darby I once knew is no this Darby. I don’t know how we turn around this epidemic of violence. If you haven’t yet seen the film “Of Gods and Men” it’s a must. So gently powerful witness to another way..



    • Bullying is a symptom of the feel good society where anything is accepted behavior as long as YOU are not the target. I saw bullying begin when my children were in school and it has only become worse. Thank God I have no children in school today.

      To turn around this epidemic – begins at home, and school with accountability, respect and positive reward for positive behavior. So many feel we have lost the battle and soon the war.



      • Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes on March 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        Interesting comment, Ray’s Mom, that bullying is a symptom of the feel-good society. That’s interesting.

        Yes, begins at home. Truly, I don’t know how I would handle a child who was a bully – but no. 1 would be getting psychological help. There has to be a reason inside that person… SURELY?



  4. Last year a young boy in Glasgow died through bullying. He kicked a softball that accidentally hit a bully who had just walked into the hall. He said sorry, but the bully hit him in the face a couple of times anyway, even though it was an accident. 5 minutes later the boy collapsed and died. My heart was breaking reading the story 😦



  5. Posted by Claire Cappetta on March 5, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    So sad! What a needless and senseless loss!



  6. how does this happen…oh. It is so sad. unutterably sad.



    • Seems the school should observe at risk students and monitor the behavior of agressive students. But the greater question is what happened to the agressive student that he targeted this youngster?

      Thank you for your visit and comment. God bless



  7. So very sad. They really have to act–they can’t let this happen without consequences.



    • Somewhere there is a breakdown in communication between the family and schools. Agressive behavior such as this must corrected before it becomes a homicide



  8. such a tragedy saddens this mothers heart and grieves with the mother of both boys.



  9. Reblogged this on



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