Jonah Mowry is a 14-year-old bullied teen who has become known for a powerful video he made about his depression and suicidal thoughts.
The video called, "Whats goin on" [sic] was uploaded in August but just started catching fire over the last day or so.
In the touching and emotionally charged video, Mowry is sitting in front of his computer while the song "Breathe Me," by Sia plays in the background. He then holds up a series of index cards telling his story of cutting, abuse, and bullying.
"I've cut...a lot. I have scars. Suicide was an option...many times," two of the cards said.
Following a listed a number of the insults he had received, the eighth grader ended the video on a happy and encouraging tone. "I'm not going anywhere, because I'm stronger than that. I have a million reasons to be here," he stated.
Although not clearly identified in the footage, one of the reasons Mowry was bullied is because he is a gay teen. A further search on his Twitter http://twitter.com/JonahMowryReal, will reveal this fact as he is open about it.
Many reports have been circulating that the footage was fake because of a follow-up video posted a few days ago, which talked about how happy and popular he was at school. This is completely contradicting to his first video. Mowry has since deleted that video.
The 14-year-old addressed the rumor on his Twitter, posting "Made a video telling people why i was happy... What do they do... Twist it around so i look like a lier... Great."
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton took to Mowry's side and said "He tells us he is truly in a much better place. Happier and with friends that care! Plus, he is also getting some counseling - something we'd recommend to anyone going through difficult times." Hilton then warned about the dangers of the Internet.
He said, "The internet can oftentimes be a big bad thing. But, in times like this, it can be quite beautiful!"
Regardless of the video being fake or not, it paints a powerful picture of what real children and teens go through everyday at school or around their peers. As of late the news has been flooded with bullying stories and even more so the phenomena of cyber bullying through sites like Facebook and Youtube.
Christian Post readers have sounded off on how they felt about the video, with all who were interviewed agreeing that the message was important for others to see.
"I don't think it's fake. A lot of kids make videos like this on YouTube to get their message across," said Jodi Palermo, a youth leader in Staten Island. "It's a never ending cycle. The bullies themselves are most likely experiencing trauma from somewhere else, whether it be friends, family, abuse.. It's all they will ever know, and it cycles down to who they bully.. Then that's all they will ever know until we change that."
"Whether or not this video is fake is irrelevant! His story couldn't be more real! This is a reality! Kid's are struggling with these kind of things everyday! And it needs to stop! Now! It's time a generation of students says enough is enough! We need to be the change we wish to see in the world! Change starts with us! The time is now!" said Henry Wakie, a youth campus evangelist.
Dominick Santore, a churchgoer at Oasis Christian Center in New York, said " We should do all we can, but understand, these problems are getting worse Every year and God is the effect for all change.. We need to find ways to introduce the message of Christ and the Gospel into the schools and the lives of these hurting children."
One reader thought the Mowry's parents should have been a better influence on their child and looked for tell tale signs of depression instead of waiting for a music video.
Drummer for the positive messaged band Process of Fusion, Terri Caputo said, "For a kid to be cutting himself in first grade...where were his parents in all of this? Did they not know he was being bullied? That's just bad parenting--how could you not know how miserable your kid is? They should've taught the boy to stand up for himself. Now look where he is."
Watch the video below (WARNING: Some adult language used to describe his teasing)