From the Editor: Not a Time to Be Quiet
There is no easy way to introduce our cover story this month. It is as painful as it is infuriating.
Bart Palosz was a Boy Scout. He was a best friend. He was a brother. He was a son. He was a target.
Beginning in middle school, fellow students physically and emotionally bullied Bart. Perhaps due to his size or Polish accent, they saw weakness and chose to attack. The persecution continued through to high school. On August 27, 2013—the first day of his sophomore year—Bart reached his breaking point. He shot himself in the head.
Some may ask why we have chosen to tell this story all these months later. In the aftermath of Bart’s death, the community was incensed. Bullying was the topic on everyone’s lips—the newspapers reported on it, community meetings addressed it, school groups were created around it. But as is the case in life, once the initial shock wears off, the rallying calls tend to quiet down. Maintaining momentum requires all of us to continue the conversation loudly and publicly. We want to be loud.
Our senior writer, Tim Dumas, spent months interviewing Palosz family friends, Greenwich High School administrators and Greenwich town administrators. But we never would have moved ahead on this story without the support of Bart’s family. When we approached his sister Beata Palosz to ask for her participation in this article (“Not in Vain,” page 80), she answered that it was finally time for her to talk publicly about the incident and all that lead up to it.
Here, in her first in-depth interview, Beata speaks on behalf of her grief stricken parents, herself and Bart.
Legally there will be no repercussions. Nobody can be arrested for Bart’s death. But there are responsible parties: The students who tormented him, the teachers who could have intervened, the bystanders who looked the other way. Yes, that is an uncomfortable statement. But it is reality. Step up. Step in. Or this will happen again.