Choking Game' Reported Among Local Teens

Choking Game' Reported Among Local Teens

Postby KateBL » 21 Nov 2009, 18:28

Choking Game' Reported Among Local Teens

KPTV.com - Portland,OR,USA
Kalama police are investigating reports of at least 10 high school students choking each other last week in what doctors call the "choking game. ...
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KateBL
 
Posts: 62
Joined: 14 Oct 2009, 19:02
Location: Florida
Victim's Name & Relation: Dylan (my son and only child at the time)
Victim's Birthdate / Angelversary: Aug 29 1994 ~ Oct 7th 2005

Ken Tork's letter to the reporter

Postby KateBL » 21 Nov 2009, 18:29

From: kenneth tork <kltork@yahoo. com>
Subject: choking game
To: mark.ross@kptv. com
Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009, 1:49 PM

Hello Mr. Ross, My name is Ken Tork, I live in Bellevue WA. . The excellent news article you did on the choking incident found its way to me through an online support group I belong to that tracks this deadly "game". We lost our son Kevin (15) last March to this deadly activity. The reason I am writing you is to ask you if there is any way you could help us come speak to these kids about this activity and to reach this community. We have been blessed with the ability to make 3 presentations so far. One at Rainier middle school in Auburn Wa, one at Todd Beamer high school in Auburn WA. and one at Chimacum middle / high school in Chimacum Wa. For those of us trying to stop this activity we have found that there is a limited window of time that parents and administrators will be receptive to people coming to speak to their kids. It is for this reason I would like to volunteer to come to this town and try and educate these kids to the reality of this activity. After that window closes it will be much harder to reach both students and parents. I am praying that you can help us. The presentations we have given so far were very well received. In fact the students told us that the most effective method for keeping them from trying this activity is to give them factual information that includes the stories that come directly from the families of those who have lost children to the choking game. WE are willing to share our loss if it can save even just ONE child
If you would like to learn more about our experience you can read about us on our blog site: . wordpress. com. On that site you will also see links to the media coverage we have received so far. The most recent being the presentation we did at Chimacum middle / high school.which was covered by KING 5 NEWS. There are also links to other sites where others are trying to stop this activity as well.
They have dodged a bullet so to speak in their school down there but I know beyond any doubt these kids will not stop this just because of this one incident. Please go to . net and look at the link titled "victims" on the upper left corner of their website. Scroll through that list and see how many of those kids listed there are just like the many amazing kids you talked to in your report.
It is believed by those of us who have become victims of this "game" that this list represents only about 10 % of the actual number of victims. This is based upon the research results provided to us by the Mcnabb study, G.A.S.P., THE DB FOUNDATION ,THE ED FOR ED ORGANIZATION and several other information sources we have been able to find that are related to this deadly strangulation activity.
The CDC keeps saying over and over that there have only been 85 reported deaths since 1995. They openly admitted to me directly that these numbers are extremely inaccurate because there is no set procedure for accurately tracking this. They only have the news reports to draw from. Most deaths from the choking game are listed as either suicide, accidental, or undetermined. There have been 35 reported deaths so far that we have been able to find just since March. If the math is correct then that's around 350 kids world wide who DIED from this since we lost our son Kevin. The youngest victim we have found so far was 6...I'm sorry but 6 year olds don't commit suicide.
Many schools and communities are reluctant to address this issue directly so I am going to ask you the same question I ask every reporter that does a story on this. Are you satisfied that you have done all you can to protect our children? Where will you be 5 years from now when this comes calling again and another 1000 kids have died? I apologize for my candor but we are fully committed to doing all we can to prevent even one more family from having to endure this horrific pain. As it stands at least 35 are experiencing it right now. From Aug 3rd to the 11th there were 4 deaths reported in that time period alone. I have to try with every ounce of my being to prevent # 36.
Our presentation takes approx 45 min with a 10 min question period. It is a combination of my speaking and a 24 minute power point video. I do record the presentations with school permission so that I can review them later to see what needs to be done to improve upon my presentation. We completely respect and adhere to all privacy disclosure guidelines about showing any adults or underage children on camera. Filming is by no means required for me to come. That would be totally up to you.
Please keep in mind though that this activity has been allowed to spread so far and wide due in part to people's reluctance to speak out about it. It is not a comfortable subject but neither is having to explain to students that one of their classmates has died. Neither the D.A.R.E.or M.A.A.D. were comfortable either when they were first introduced. It took D.A.R.E. almost 12 years to become accepted as part of the curriculum of the education system, but look at the impact they have made. I will come to this town at their convenience and there is no fee expected or required at all whatsoever.
I have learned in the last 8 months many of the sometimes harsh basic facts about the reality of the way the media world works and I have an idea that may help us reach more kids and help your station as well. The window is open right now and the people are receptive to more being done, so lets give them more. MY presentation is very very powerful. For reasons I don't fully understand yet I had the fore site to get some very very poignant pictures of our sons funeral and I put them in my presentation. It has been said that this video I created is unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. I have a solid program that really reaches the hearts and souls of these sometimes cynical teenagers.
Mr Ross I am not asking this of you to gain any fame, money,or donations. I want NOTHING in return. The plain simple truth is that this thing lured my son in and killed him. I have found out that there are literally thousands of families out there just like ours who have been victims of this activity for years and I CANNOT just sit by knowing that this activity is running rampant killing our children. Pardon the cliche' but for me its personal. We are willing to drive down there and share our story with that entire town if possible. FOR FREE! I don't even want gas money.
Now here is how it can help you and your station. Imagine the credibility your station would receive for sponsoring something like this. promoting it as a community/ public relations event by helping me reach the community leaders and maybe getting them to donate 2 hrs of use at the local community center where everyone could come with their kids to see first hand the true realities of how dangerous this activity is. You see there is a mindset among teens that if you died from this .. you just did it wrong. The piece you did on this was excellent! Now imagine being able to televise this event to all your local viewers. Nothing like this has ever been done before. Most people don't want to take the time. Most reporters tell their story and then move on to the next one.
That mindset among most medical examiners and police officers is exactly why so many kids who tried this alone like our son did are misdiagnosed as suicides. Imagine being the parent of an amazing kid and being told your child committed suicide FOR NO APPARENT REASON.They didn't leave a note. They were a happy well adjusted high achieving christian kid. and some doctor says that just because he/she choked themselves its suicide!...Period, end of story, get over it and move on!!.. This is not what happened in our case. Kevin was listed as accidental because the ME in King County has been seeing this for the 16 years he has been in office, but I can get you ten stories right now where the ME said similar words to the families. Now those families are suffering needlessly and learning that this activity not only exists but has claimed the lives of hundreds if not thousands of kids just like theirs may then bring about a much needed closure and answer the questions that I can assure you burns very painfully in their soul everyday. What did we do wrong? Why my son/ daughter? What could I have done to stop it?
I have been told that many reporters get into your field to make a difference. To bring the truth to the people. I was also told by a media producer that over time most trade in that commitment just to make a living. There is a reason its called NEWs. that one more death will not be anything new. I wanted to punch him but unfortunately it was true. So lets give them something new. Which of those reporters are you Mr Ross? As I said I have been contacting every reporter who does a story on this asking this same question. As of right now I have contacted over 20. I have received a grand total of two responses. One said " We have done all we can good luck with your fight". The other was " We wish you well in your future and we are sorry for your loss" and I am willing to bet that those words made them feel much better. I'm sure they were heartfelt and I appreciated it. I'm sure they will be content that they reached out ,and then one day they will read another story or do another piece where another child has died from this and I have to wonder what they will think then. Does it ever cross their minds.. what if? ..What if they had pushed that one step further? Would that kid still be alive? Will it cross yours?
My son was an amazing, outgoing, caring young man, with an A/B grade point average. He attended church ,was involved with sports and would do everything he could to help anybody with out any expectations in return. He died Mon March 30th 2009 playing the choking game. We were the picture perfect American family. Now we cry everyday. There aren't words to describe how much we miss our sweet beautiful boy. We implore you to not stop with just one news article. Most people will be just like us and cannot conceive that their perfect child would ever do anything like this. Until it happens to them or you if you are a parent. No one is exempt.
Please even if you choose to not help us in this battle, please we beg of you, educate yourself more on this subject. Learn ALL you can. You have the power and opportunity right now to save hundreds if not thousands of lives. Don't let it slip by.
If there is anything you can do to help us reach these kids and their families it could turn out to be the single most important thing you have ever done. Do not allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security that you have done all you can or you too will find yourself here again.
Horace Mann was a great education reformer and some say the father of our current school system. He once made a statement " Be afraid to die before winning at least one victory for humanity" MR Ross if there has ever been a battle that needs to be won this is it and we could really use your help. Right now!
Thank you for your time and may God hold you, your family and those students down there in his loving arms and keep them safe.
Ken & Kathy Tork
Ken Tork
6306 164th AVE SE
BELLEVUE WA 98006
206 715 6274 (C)
425 643 6669 (H)
User avatar
KateBL
 
Posts: 62
Joined: 14 Oct 2009, 19:02
Location: Florida
Victim's Name & Relation: Dylan (my son and only child at the time)
Victim's Birthdate / Angelversary: Aug 29 1994 ~ Oct 7th 2005

Re: Choking Game' Reported Among Local Teens

Postby micheleconnorsmom » 21 Nov 2009, 19:19

Hope Ken gets a chance to visit more schools!
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micheleconnorsmom
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 21 Nov 2009, 18:27
Location: North Carolina, USA
Victim's Name & Relation: Connor Edward Galloway-my son
About Me: My name is Michele Galloway. I am the mother of two boys,Connor,who died in 2007 at the age of 12,and Aidan. I am married to Dale Galloway. I am a teacher and I live in North Carolina.
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