Yet Another Child’s Obituary Calls Out Bullying, and WE Need to Talk to Our Kids About It

Just looking at this photo of Coby Bleakney, it’s hard for me to believe that he was bullied. I mean, look at him.

Coby Alen Bleakney. Photo: Bleakney Family via Delong Baker Lanning

The 12-year-old from Zanesville, Ohio (not so far from where I live) has clear skin, an adorable dimple, stunning green eyes, and he’s wearing a very trendy Under Armour shirt. He looks like he should have his own DISNEY show.

Instead, he is in the ground. A life lost too soon. His obituary does not say that he took his own life, but it is strongly implied.

Why did they bully him, I wonder? Was it because he was so cute? Were the other kids jealous? Or did he have a speech impediment or learning problem that made him an easy target? Was the bullying of Coby Alen Bleakney just one mean child’s random choice that altered the course of history?

There are a few, I am sure, who know the answer to this question, but I am not one of them. His obituary, which gives us some clues, reads:

Coby Alen Bleakney, 12, of South Zanesville, went home to be with our Lord, March 22, 2018.

He was born September 4, 2005 in Zanesville, son of Chad Bleakney and Tammy Seastrand Bleakney.

In addition to his parents he is survived by his brothers, Eric (Alisha) Swingle, T.J. (Keyli) Swingle, Blake (Emmalee) Swingle; nieces, Madison Schneider, Sophie Swingle, Kadence Swingle, Hayden Swingle, Paisleigh Swingle; nephew on the way, Ezra Swingle; maternal grandmother, Dianna Kay Seastrand, paternal grandparents, Melanie & Butch Bleakney; too many aunts, uncle & cousins to list; special friend, Jayden Graves.

Coby was the smartest, softest sweetest boy with the kindest heart.  He was loved more than anything in this world. His parents fought the biggest battles for him with family by their side.

Bullying is real in every child’s life.  As parents we should talk with our children about bullying and to teach them to stand up when something is seen or heard. No matter the age no parent should ever have to bury their child.

Private family services will be held.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in honor of Coby Alen Bleakney and other suicide victims at Muskingum County Community Foundation or online at

It’s so short, because his life was just WAY TOO SHORT.

These words haunt me: “His parents fought the biggest battles for him with family by their side.”

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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