Charles Bowlby

The day before his surgery, Charles Bowlby posted a photo of toe tag he said some of his co-workers at the Department of Transportation gave him. 

As a 30-year resident of Lincoln, I was ashamed and heart broken when I opened the Sunday, Oct. 6 edition of the Journal Star to the front-page story titled "The bullying of Charlie Bowlby."

Since when as a community have we stooped to such low levels of morals and values to bully a grown man at his professional place of employment, to cause him stress and depression?

Charlie Bowlby appeared to be a hard-working, loving and tax-paying citizen of Lincoln who was unique in his own way. He may have been a little different than his coworkers, but to be the butt of break-room jokes and a pool on whether he'd survive the heart operation that he needed to save his life is degrading and heartless!

It is time that every person takes a long, hard look at themselves and the people around them. None of us are perfect, and everyday life is very challenging. We all have an obligation to put our best foot forward and reach out to others with an open hand and a loving heart.

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Suicide is on the rise in our country, and statistics show that bullying victims are several times more likely to take their own lives than people who aren't bullied. This is an alarming statistic that needs the be greatly reduced by educating people of all age levels -- not just teens -- to make people feel important and loved.

I never met Charlie, but I hope he is at peace now -- and he will be missed by many.

Susan King, Lincoln

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