Hillsboro, OR asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury, Juvenile Law and Education Law for Oregon

Q: Is it illegal in Oregon to tell someone to kill themself? what if the person told makes an attempt?

An 8th grader told another 8th grader to kill themself on two separate occasions. This was in person on school grounds. The 8th grader who was told to do it made an attempt. Are there any legal consequences for the 8th grader who made the statement? Does it matter that the 8th grader who attempted is part of the LGBT+ community?

1 Lawyer Answer
Brad  Holbrook
Brad Holbrook
  • Newberg, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You asked if there are legal consequences for the 8th grader for telling someone to kill themselves. I don't think there is a "Yes" or "No" answer. I would suggest that most likely, "No", because an 8th grader is not likely to fully appreciate the severity of what s/he is doing--and fully comprehend the pain they are causing to another; however, if an adult is aware this is going on and fails to act, there is a strong possibility of legal consequences for that adult (i.e., teacher, parent, guardian, etc). Does it matter if they are targeted because they are part of the LGBT+community? Or, perhaps in the alternative, more vulernable to suggestions such as to kill themselves? It makes it more probable the person would follow through if they are already emotionally compromised--and if the 8th grader knew that--and targeted that--it would make it more likely the 8th grader would face legal consequences. The matter is very sad and frustrating, and I hope that both students are able to get help and support to work through the emotions that are causing them to take the actions you described.

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