Sue Scheff: Bullying Victims Have Sad Mutual Bond

Back in October 2009 our community and country was stunned when 15 year-old Michael Brewer was doused in alcohol and set on fire by other teens.  Last week, 15 year-old Josie Lou Ratley, who shared a science class with Michael Brewer at Deefield Middle School, was brutally beaten nearly to death.

Josie Ratley remains in a medically induced coma at Broward General Medical Center, more than a week after prosecutors say an enraged teenager she barely knew confronted her at a Deerfield Beach Middle School bus stop and repeatedly stomped on her head while wearing steel-toed boots.

On Tuesday this past week, Josie Lou Ratley and her family received a visit from Michael Brewer, who also recently survived a life-threatening assault. Brewer suffered burns over two-thirds of his body when he was set on fire at an apartment complex about a mile from the school last October. 

She’s my friend,” Brewer said, according to family spokeswoman Terri Lynn. The visit was a private meeting between families, Lynn said. “Their message was, ‘We’re here for you. We know what you’re going through.’ ” – Sun-Sentinel

Josie Ratley was waiting for a school bus on campus March 17 when, prosecutors say, Wayne Treacy, 15, attacked her without warning. Treacy is facing a first-degree attempted murder charge and is being held in a juvenile detention center.

Also being held as an accomplice is Kayla Manson, 13 year-old, a friend who prosecutors say knew Treacy intended to harm Ratley and led him to the victim.

Kayla Manson and Josie Lou Rately were friends prior this incident. On NBC’s Today Show, they showed pictures of their friendship. The family of and attorney for 13-year-old Kayla Manson spoke out for the first time on Thursday, telling NBC’s “Today” show that Manson had no idea Wayne Treacy was going to brutally beat her friend, Josie Ratley.  Kayla Manson’s attorney is determined to have Kayla tried as a juvenile.

Read previous articles on Josie Lou Ratley for more information.

The Ratley family does not have medical insurance.  Donations can be made at Wachovia Bank, in care of the Law Office of Garden and Donor for the benefit of Josie Lou Ratley in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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