Feb 20, 2016
February 20th is Tempest Smith Day. On February 20, 2001,
Tempest Kayne Smith died by her own hand. She was twelve
years old. She had been tormented by her classmates for some
years because she was shy, because she liked to wear black
clothing, and especially because she chose to follow Wicca as her
religious path. At that age, time goes very slowly. At
that age, well-intentioned advice to confide in teachers,
counselors and parents meet with trust issues. Besides, how
was it possible that the teachers and staff at her school would not
have known, as blatant as some of the abuse was?
I have been promoting Tempest Smith Day since the day I first heard of her. I see her as a martyr, and as a patron of victims of bullying, especially religious bullying.
In spite of hopes that things would get better, they have gotten worse. We now have public officials and candidates for office who claim they want to deport people based on their religion. What are we going to do?