Bullying is still an ongoing problem in America that still leads to suicide.
Recently a New York teen tragically committed suicide.
The issue brings to light the effects of bullying.
We must educate our youth in how to handle situations like this.
In recent years there has been a severe pandemic of suicides among teenagers. The tragic epidemic, resulting from bullying, only seems to be gaining momentum as time goes on. A couple of months ago, 15-year-old Tovonna had stolen her mother’s gun, went to the restroom, and fatally shot herself. All of this was a direct result of bullying.
Shortly before her death, a friend had recorded the young girl taking a shower. Like a “true” friend, she blasted this video for multiple people to see. The direct result of this leads to public shaming, ridicule, and harassment. However, the taunting and distribution of this video would only further an already existing problem.
Growing up, I recall being one of these kids myself. Every chance they got, I was the subject of constant bullying. However, there was a big difference when you compare then to now. That big difference is simply called the internet.
When I was growing up, I had the option of going home and forgetting about the day’s problem. Of course, that was back in the mid-1990’s. Where kids, at one time, couldn’t continue harassing a child after school. The internet, through social medias, has brought a new form of bullying to light.
The birth of cyber-bullying
In the modern technological age, we are heavily dependent on sites such as “Facebook.” It is, through these sites, our youth has found ways to terrorize their victims online. With the birth of these sites, teens had a new outlet for publicly humiliating their victims.
Posting indecent videos, harassment, and even encouraging suicide have all been used as weapons of choice. For this reason, a law had to be passed to counter this new crime.
In cases of suicide, questions of whether or not the bully should be held accountable are raised. In one hand, people will argue that the bully did not force the teen’s hand. However, we can also claim that their deaths are a direct result of constant torment from the bully. For this reason, we have begun seeing convictions for the deaths.
As stated previously, bullies use a wide range of tactics. Hannah Smith was a 14-year-old girl who suffered from eczema. As would any young girl, she sought the internet for help with the condition. It was, during this time, she found ask.fm.
A simple question on curing this disorder would end up triggering her demise. “Drink bleach, go kill yourself,” these are just a couple of the cold answers Hannah received. Sadly, however, the responses had proven to be too much for her. As if this was not enough, the same bullies began to target her sister, shortly after.
What was just discussed, has become one of the most common forms of bullying. Belittling a person, dragging down their self-worth, is an epidemic. It is, for this reason, that law enforcement has campaigned to put an end to it. Even with such a campaign, it has proven to be a difficult one.
In the first discussed story, there was mention of a young girl who had tragically shot herself. The story that leads up to the tragic end, within itself, is tragic. A friend had filmed her showering, without her knowing.
For whatever reason, this friend maliciously shared this video with other students. From there, the roller coaster began it is descent. As previously mentioned, the young girl had taken her life. One question that should be asked is, “why mention this, or any of these stories at all?”
When we review these stories, a clear and yet disturbing message is seen. Where, at one time, teens had a way to escape the bullying, it has now become a 24/7 problem. At school, there is no escape. Moreover, now, even at home, the bullying follows them via the cyber world.
These stories also demonstrate just how dangerous this form of bullying can be. This is due to parents virtually having no means of protecting their children from it. The reason for this is because most bullied children keep it to themselves. Because of the secrecy, it is important to understand and see the signs.
Following this article, I have included two different numbers. The purpose of these is to give bullied teens an outlet, a place to reach out for help. I feel very strongly that suicide is never an option, there are other ways to deal with a crisis. It is, with that in mind, I am hoping to reach out in this manner. It is to say; we hope no child feels death is the only solution.
24/7 bullying and crisis hotline for youth up to age 18
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
24/7 crisis hotline
Trevor Project Lifeline
24/7 crisis hotline for LGBTQ youth