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4 years ago

We are all here for each other to give support, encourage each other and to take back our own control of our self worth. Hugs to all..EchoRose

Anonymous
4 years ago

this all makes my heart sick, but i admire each one that came forward to tell their story! you are very brave and couragous and by telling your story is the first step in change. because of what you have gone thru, it has made you stronger and very out spoken against it and that is what it will take to change it. by speaking out you also have helped someone going thru the same thing if only to make them feel, they are not alone! thank you for sharing your very important feelings with all of us.

4 years ago

I'm really sorry you've been hurt so much by bullies, Echo and Shannon, it's really awful.
I think you show that you are a strong person - you survived and you are brave enough to share your story - maybe someone that either is or has gone through a similar situation will gain strength from reading you story and be encouraged.
I agree with you, Echo, kindness is the No. 1 lesson to teach our children. By practicing kindness, you become a better and happier person - and kindness, more than anything else, is the death of bullying.

4 years ago

Rose you are so right. It does start at home. Teach your children right from wrong. Kindness is what this world needs so desperatly..

4 years ago

Shannon, You have been hurt and your guard is up. That is understandable. This is why one of the reasons I made this group. For all of us that have been there and can reach out and touch each others hearts. So we can mend, and begin our own lives whole again. I will be happy to be your friend here at care2. I too was picked on. I am so sorry you have had to go through such hurtfelt times. But we can talk here and try to get ourselves back on track. I  was a cheer leader in the 7th grade. I am only 5"1". 100 lbs soaking wet..So all the other long legged blond, blue eyed cheerleaders picked at me until I broke. I never got to enter again as a cheer leader. They took my dream away. But..I also let them. I let them control how I felt about myself. I am stronger now. But it took many years to get over that. I am 34 and I have a 7 year old daughter. I will and do educate her about bullying. To keep your own self esteem and don't let anyone take it from you. Or they win. I am here for you...Love and hugs EchoRose



This post was modified from its original form on 19 Jun, 5:33
4 years ago

 It is so SAD to see ,hear, read about another death becuase of bullying

 

 It must be taught at schools but I will add it must start at home too, as children need to learn about " bullying" from Parents

Attempt
4 years ago

When I was 14 I attempted suicide as a result of this. I also had two seizures. I'm 26 now and to this day can't really act normal when it comes to friendships. I simply don't know what to do. I don't know how to flow with it. So I basically keep my distance. There is the professional me that has been called bubbly in my review at work, and then there is the home me that prefers to be quiet and do my own thing. I don't understand what is missing in me that I can't seem to do what normal people can do in terms of friendship.

4 years ago

Yes, the list goes on. It is so sad and hearbreaking to know these children felt so lost and alone. No where to turn to. That is why this has to be addressed and know how serious this is in our schools and playgrounds.

4 years ago

Teen suicide is a pandemic in many countries. Bullying and teen suicide have now become synonymous. In researching bullying and suicide, there seems to be a new catchword that has become part of the growing trend of bullying in schools. It’s called bullycide, which is “suicide caused by bullying and depression.”
Bullying and teen suicide have officially been linked, and it is more important than ever to find a solution to this ever-growing problem. Although teen depression has hit an all-time high, couple it with bullying and you have the makings of an inner-time-bomb that will eventually go off. Bullying suicide, or bullycide as it is now called, is a frightening consequence. Unless and until programs are instituted to address the seriousness and potential life-threatening bullying that is prevalent in most schools today, the teen suicide rate will undoubtedly increase.

 

The suicide of Phoebe Prince has familiarized Americans with the term "bullycide," but unfortunately, the phenomenon of adolescent suicide linked to bullying is not new. Here are some sad stories of "bullycide":

 

Jared High
Died: September, 1998
High, 13, shot himself five months after an older boy severely beat him up in the gym of his Pasco, WA, middle school. In those intervening months, Jared couldn't sleep, heard voices, and grew increasingly depressed, says his mom, Brenda High, who's since become a leading anti-bullying advocate. She has compiled several stories in a book Bullycide in America.

 

Ryan Halligan
Died: October, 2003
Halligan, 13, hanged himself after years of bullying. According to his father, John Halligan, Ryan had been able to stave off physical assaults after learning Taebo kick-boxing techniques, but was eventually overwhelmed by psychological harassment at his Essex Junction, VT, middle school. After Ryan's suicide, John discovered instant-message archives revealing that one so-called "friend" had spread a rumor that Ryan was gay; a female schoolmate had flirted with Ryan to gather embarrassing secrets, only to broadcast them. John Halligan became an early proponent of anti-cyber-bullying legislation. 

 

Megan Meier
Died: October 2006
In the first high-profile case of cyber-bullying, Missouri teenager Megan Meier hanged herself weeks before her 14th birthday, after she was cruelly "dumped" by a fictitious boy, "Josh Evans", with whom she'd corresponded via MySpace and IM. In his final message, "Josh" wrote: You are a bad person and everybody hates you. The world would be a better place without you." Josh, it turned out, had been created by a friend's mom, Lori Drew, reportedly to "mess with" Megan for slighting her daughter. Vilified by the media, Drew was convicted, then acquitted, of federal misdemeanor charges related to Megan's suicide. The case has prompted several cyber-bullying laws.

 

Eric Mohat
Died: March 2007
Mohat, 17, was the third student at Ohio's Mentor High School to kill himself in his school year. His suicide followed years of taunting — provoked, it seems, by his odd physique (at 6'1" and 112 pounds, he was nicknamed "Twiggy") and his defiant tendencies to wear pink and attend school with a stuffed lemur "velcro'ed" to his arm. A classmate reportedly told him: "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself? It's not like anybody would care." Eric's parents sued the school district, alleging that it had been aware of the bullying but failed to take action — and that its existing policies were ineffective.

 

Carl Walker-Hoover
Died: April 2009
While Phoebe Prince's death has increased pressure on the Massachusetts legislature to pass its pending anti-bullying law, the law itself was prompted by Carl's suicide in Boston.  At just 11, Carl hanged himself using an extension cord after being tormented for months by bullies who called him "gay." 

 

Alexis Skye Pilkington
Died: March 21, 2010
The Long Island, NY, 17-year-old teenager killed herself after receiving vicious, anonymous attacks via the social networking site FormSSpring.me. In a dark, new twist to the bullycide phenomenon, Alexis is still being taunted after her death by anonymous posts on a memorial Facebook page set up in her honor. Police are currently investigating what role cyber-bullying may have played in her suicide.



This post was modified from its original form on 18 Jun, 13:29
4 years ago

Monika, there are some programs starting up(slowly) such as in the UK. But I agree they need to start these at an age of pre-k. Start children at an early age that hurting each other is unexceptable behavior.

4 years ago

Yes, we need anti-bullying programs. Our schools need to implement a prevention plan; education for students, staff and parents. It must be made clear to students that if they bully someone, there will be consequences. And it must be clear to educators that law enforcement professionals need to be more involved. Unfortunately, most schools don't have programs, and many don't have the ones known to be most effective, but unless the adults and the kids in every school in the country learn how to recognize and deal with these situations, bullying won't stop.

4 years ago

Alice for your comments. I agree with everything you have said here in this topic. I think having programs in our schools Stop Bullying Mandatory to take before graduation should be on the table. That article is true and quite sad.

4 years ago

News story I just found and submitted:

 

 

Nearly Half of UK Child Suicides Linked to Bullying

4 years ago

Oh and it should be better recognised that having mental health problems because of having been bullied is entirely normal and to be expected.  PTSD has been described as a "normal reaction to an abnormal situation".  Tim Field of Bullyonline said that if the alternative to being sensitive is being insensitive then surely sensitivity is to be encouraged.  If someone has a go at you over your appearance or behaviour, then wondering if they might be right rather than just ignoring it is the mature, sensible, sane, well-adjusted thing to do.  If everyone ignored everyone else's opinion of them, we'd never get anywhere.

4 years ago

Sorry about the small writing

4 years ago

Hi Everyone.  I agree that plenty of bullies take pleasure in knowing that they could drive someone to suicide, so it is murder by proxy.  I think there needs to be teaching of Emotional Intelligence in schools so at least the nice, principled kids will know that they are the normal ones, not the bullies.  This is difficult to introduce because a lot of teachers (like nurses, carers and charity workers, strangely enough) are bullies themselves.  My Guidance Teachers (I think they would be school counsellors in the US and other places, they dealt with Personal and Social Development, sex ed, writing CVs, complaints of bullying etc.) were both bullies (!).

 

Also there needs to be a lot more provision for in-depth talking therapy, like Person-Centred and Psychodynamic Therapy, both for kids and especially for adults.  Such therapists are extremely difficult to access and expensive.  So many adults are unable to lead full lives because of what happened at school.  I have to say, speaking as a victim of rape (just another kind of bullying of course), the provision for me is bad enough, and that's a well-recognised and talked-about experience.

 

Before the General Election here in the UK there was a little community game on some website of "make your own policies", and mine was to have mental health professionals (therapists) resident in schools, with a couple of psychiatrists allocated per area too.  Not only to look out for at-risk children, but to talk to bullies as well and assess their problems.  If this country ever gets to a point where we've actually got any money again, I think that would be a very good use of it!

4 years ago

Monika well said, As it does build character but not in a positive way. They grow up to be abusers to their wives, husbands, children or anyone else they may meet in life. The laws have got to get strickter and make the abusers accountable for what they do. It is a crime for them to bully until a child is broken inside. But also the officials cannot turn a blind eye about this. It is a very serious matter that has to be addressed and not shuffled like paper work. OUR CHILDREN MATTER. When a child is crying out for help we as a society have to listen. If we don't the children will continue to break inside and take their own lives.

4 years ago

Unfortunately in recent years, our attitudes have changed about what it means to be a victim. Many parents and school officials are likely to blame victims of bullying for being weak and not being able to stand up for themselves.
This may seem a little bit strange, but there are some parents who do not stop their child from bullying. They rather tend to think that bullying is part of the growing up process and builds character. In many cases, adults themselves experienced bullying as a child and think it to be an acceptable practice. It is important to realise that this thinking is flawed and bullying has become unacceptable in today's society. Parents need to understand this fact and realise that bullying can be harmful to the bully as well as the person being bullied. Parents are the voice of reasonability and set the yardstick for their children. This is why parents have to stress that bullying is unacceptable and not give their children any justification to carry on with this practice.
I always ask one question: if your child was being punched in the face daily (or punching another in the face) would this be tolerated? No. Cops, lawsuits... But verbal abuse, whose scars are invisible and go very deep, is seen as benign. It is sheer cruelty and anyone who turns a blind eye to cruelty is not "a good person." They are complicit and should be ashamed of the example (passive, cold) they set for their offspring.

4 years ago

Debra, I agree with you. Bullying the other kids (or adults) until they suicide, it's a form of murder! And they must be punished by homicide.

4 years ago

I think the kids that did the bulling should be charged with muder! This is getting way out of hand! When we were kids we fist fought! Now they have guns and knivies! How do you stop it? Does anyone watch Steve Wilkos? Well yesterday he told a story about a mother that lived in the bad bad section of town and the ganges would want her son to join and she would open the door with a shot gut and the boy today grew up to be a basketball play I don't know who.The ganges are the ones who also bully big time!

4 years ago

SunKat, You called it right. Empowerment on another, that is what it is about. They harrass a person until that person becomes broken inside. The victim will try to turn to officials and they are not listening. Then it continues until a child can not cope anymore. Their heart is shattered and cannot mend. They feel alone, and have no way out so they hurt themselves and yes even kill themselves. As parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and all decent human beings we have to help our children.

4 years ago

I think that they are people who have no other way to assert themselves than to put the others down, because it's the only way they have to show they are better than those that they are bullying.



This post was modified from its original form on 08 Jun, 10:05
4 years ago

I am just shocked that there seems very little can be done for the victims.  It's also one thing to be bullied in school but when it's moved to your home and the police do little to nothing to help?  What can we do as spectators that are angry and shocked?  I am very upset that not even in one's home people can be safe from tormentors.  Who do these bullies think they are anyways?  How do they feel they have a sense of empowerment over others??

4 years ago

Monika, story after story we could post but they are all the same tragic endings. Not anyone heard their cries or they chose to sweep it aside. That is why this group is so very important. Thank you for posting and also Thank you Kitty for your wise insight to a growing problem for our young people.

Bullied to Death - part II.
4 years ago

I felt sick with worry, but what could I do? We were prisoners in our own house. The police and the neighbors weren’t much help. Dad kept telling us not to worry because we have the law on our side. But in reality, it was us against this mob. I knew Kelly couldn’t face the bullies at school the next day. She didn’t make a big thing of it to Mum and Dad because she didn’t want Mum to go to the school and complain again. She had been there about 30 times already, and nothing had changed. I bet people reading this will wonder why Kelly didn’t tell her teachers what was going on. Well, first of all, where we live, you don’t sneak to teachers. You just don’t. But eventually things got so bad, she did, and her teacher told her not to be a tattletale. I found out afterward that just before she died, the bullies had been beating her up at lunchtime and had broken her glasses.

But she never said a word to me. I think she’d given up completely. She believed no one could help her. That Sunday night we went to bed as usual, me in my room Kelly in hers. Around 1 a.m. I heard her go downstairs. Dad called out, and she said she was just going to the bathroom. A few minutes later she came back up and said, "God bless. I love you." But she didn’t say, "See you in the morning," as she usually did. Next l knew, it was just before 8 a.m., and I heard Dad trying to wake Kelly. I heard him gasp, and I ran in. Kelly was lying on her bed. At first, I thought it was an asthma attack. Then I looked at her still stomach. She wasn’t breathing. I was so angry, so upset, I couldn’t believe it. I ran from the house. When I got back, the paramedics were carrying her out. She’d swallowed 40 of Mum’s painkillers. Things got very weird after that. Reporters and TV cameras came, and there were people in and out of the house all day long. It didn’t sink in with me at first. I was shocked, like everyone else. The neighbors were nice enough, but Michael Shaw, the principal at Kelly’s school, acted atrociously. He said teachers noticed Kelly being bubbly the weeks before she died. He said there’d been no signs. He went on to say the school records showed that Kelly only complained of being bullied twice – once in junior school and the other time being the salt incident. The report said the problem was sorted out straight away and Kelly was happy with the result. Yeah, right. Dad was very upset when Kelly’s body was taken from our house. He only calmed down when he saw how nicely she was laid out in her casket. He spent hours at the funeral parlor, stroking her hand and making sure everything was just so. She looked lovely and was buried with her favorite teddy bears, her Boyzone posters and a pack of the gum she liked to chew. She looked very peaceful I think she was happy at last. As for the rest of us, life is very strange. Several months have passed. The police have interviewed six of the bullies, ages 13 to 17. They have not yet been charged with any offenses. [They have since been brought up on harassment charges, and at press time were awaiting sentencing at a local youth court.)

Mum seems to be dealing with Kelly’s death now, but I don’t think it’s sunk in with Dad yet. He still says, "Morning, Babe." and blows a kiss to her photo every day. People tell us we should move, but Kelly’s spirit is here. If we moved, there’d be nothing left of her. I think Dad’s right to act like she’s still here. That’s why I’ve recently gone back into her room for the first time since she died. I’m sticking up Boyzone posters on her walls – that’s what she would have liked. I haven’t been back to school since she died. I wanted to be a nursery nurse before this happened, but now I don’t care. Nothing seems important anymore. Mum says my character has changed, that 1’m snappy with people. She’s probably right. I’m not bothered, though. I just miss Kelly so much. I wish I could have helped her. The reaction of other people has been unreal. We’ve had sackfuls of letters from as far as Australia and America. Some people have said Kelly’s death is more important than Princess Diana’s because it highlights the misery of people who are bullied everywhere. 

When our family was being tormented, no one cared much. Kelly never asked for help, and we often didn’t see what was going on. But now that she’s dead, she’s not invisible anymore. She’s getting all the attention she never had when she was alive. Everyone cares now and wants to help. Pity it’s too late.



This post was modified from its original form on 08 Jun, 7:49
Bullied to Death - part I.
4 years ago

From Jump Magazine

 

Quite a few months have gone by since my sister Kelly committed suicide. Basically, she was bullied to death. It was all so meaningless, and life has become very strange. She was my only sister and my best friend. Everyone probably knows someone like my sister. She was a rather shy, 13-year-old schoolgirl who wore glasses and was a bit overweight. Oh, and she sometimes had asthma. Nothing unusual about that. She didn’t do very well at school, but she worked hard.

We’ve always been a close family, with just the four of us in a three-bedroom [low-income] house in Allenton, Derby, England. There was my mum, my dad, Kelly and me, Sarah. I’m 16.

When Kelly came home from school every day, she didn’t mess about listening to her favorite rock groups, Boyzone and the Spice Girls. Instead, she liked to put on her favorite T-shirt and leggings and get cracking with her homework. That way she’d be finished in time to go to the Salvation Army choir practice with me and our mum. We both played tambourine and sang in the choir.

Kelly had friends her own age, but she spent a lot of her free time helping senior citizens with shopping and chores. She wanted to work with the elderly when she left school. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for anyone; she was that kind of friendly person.

Don’t get the impression she was a right goody-goody, because she wasn’t. She played a mean game of kickabout football and was a bit of a tomboy. But, unlike a lot of her friends who were already into boys, she’d rather watch soaps and read pop magazines than hang out with guys.

Before the bullying started, Kelly was pretty happy-go-lucky. Maybe that’s because in the early days I was able to keep an eye on her at school. There was this gang of about six bullies, ages 10 and up, who picked on us both. They’d shout names at us like "Fatty" and "Smelly" because neither of us was exactly slim.

That went on day after day. Once I moved up to the senior school, I couldn’t protect her anymore. She had to fend for herself. The tormenting continued for poor Kelly, and there wasn’t much I could do. Those boys would make her cry and try to find ways to humiliate her publicly by doing things like loosening the top on the salt shaker at lunch so salt would spill all over her food. Gym class was even worse. Kelly dreaded it because they’d be waiting to taunt and jeer at her in her sports clothes.

When I went to Kelly’s school to check on her, I'd often find her sitting at her desk crying her eyes out after the bullies had stabbed at her with a pencil or attacked her during lunchtime. I'd shout at them to leave us alone, but it did no good. They just laughed and called us the "Slowmans" (our surname is Yeomans). The nightmare continued for three long years.

 Why did they pick on us? I don’t know. Maybe because we were in the Salvation Army choir; it isn’t exactly trendy. Our dad used to be a technician for Rolls-Royce, but now he’s unemployed. Maybe that made us victims. I think the biggest problem was the fact that we didn’t fight back. Because of our Christian beliefs, Dad said we should turn the other cheek. The yobs [gangs] terrorized other families on our road, but they threw stones back and eventually were left alone.

The week before Kelly killed herself, it was like living under siege. It began with a gang of 15 throwing stones through our living room windows. They saw Kelly watching from the upstairs window, so they shouted at her: "Stay in there you smelly bastard."

We don’t have a phone, so Dad ran next door and called the police, but they took two hours to come. By then the gang had gone. But they were back the next night. And the next.

One night they hurled cake ingredients—eggs, flour and slabs of butter—through our windows and yelled abuse about lard and fat. Mum looked out and they shouted, "Get back in there you bastards. We’re going to get you." That’s what Kelly’s last days were like. On the day of her suicide, I knew she was upset, though she was very quiet and calm when she told Mum and Dad, "I’ve had enough of this. I can’t go on."

4 years ago

Hello echo Rose,
This is another tragic ending that could of been avoided if more people would have spoke up and fought to have these laws changed, so they can to treat bullying and harrassment as an urgancy rather than lets see if there was a crime committed before we do anything.
It's actually very discusting on the part of the school, the police, those who are in charge of creating the laws on bullying and harrassment and who ever else was ignoring his cries for help.
Wishing you a nice day, and thank you for thanking this story.

New Members
4 years ago

Any new comers if you have not read this article. Please do so when you have time. This is the reason I started up this group. We have to try to make a difference and help these parents and children that are not being heard. Thank you so much for your support here. I am so very greatful. EchoRose



This post was modified from its original form on 08 Jun, 7:09
Death By Bullying: Another Teenage Suicide
4 years ago

Sixteen-year-old Christian Taylor was found hanged in his bedroom on Monday, May 31: Memorial Day, a school holiday, which for most kids means the start of summer.

Taylor was a freshman at Grafton High School in Yorktown, VA. What's especially tragic about this suicide is that the teenager had complained to school and law enforcement officials about being bullied, but nothing was done to stop his tormentor. According to York-Poquosen Sheriff Sgt. Dennis Ivey, authorities had also looked into complaints by Taylor's mother, Alise Williams, weeks ago, but turned the matter over to his school after finding no crime had been committed. No action was taken, and Taylor's tormentor remained at school.

Because of Taylor's death, Ivey said, authorities are now re-examining the case to see if any laws were broken.

How many lost teenage lives are we going to have to witness before school authorities take this issue seriously? In Massachusetts, less than six months ago, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince hanged herself after being assaulted and bullied by classmates. Currently six teenagers face charges in that case.

And now here's another one. Teenagers can be both mean and cruel, as well as scared and extremely vulnerable. Above all, they need guidance from adults, even when (maybe especially when) they act as if they hate all authority. Every school has a legal responsibility to deal with bullying that occurs on school property and, in many cases, between school and home.

What happened in Taylor's case? According to his mom, "Chris was a good kid…. He had the usual teenage problems, the awkwardness and all, but he had a girlfriend and friends and they're devastated." She described her son's bullying as "just a lot of taunting and saying mean stuff" but added that in one instance, his tormentor, a classmate, told her son to "go ahead and commit suicide and get it over with."

Meanwhile, the bully "is still in school," said Williams. "They have not suspended him. He has not been expelled. And he doesn't just target my son, he's targeted quite a few others."

As someone who has been teaching teenagers for over twenty years, I know that someone, if not several people, at that high school had to know what was going on, but chose not to see. It's easy to do, since teachers are all so overworked and pressured these days. But that's no excuse. Teenagers can be a tough bunch, but it's also pretty easy to read them.

Bullying is a serious social problem. According to the National School Safety Center, one in seven children becomes a victim of bullying at school. Wake up, schools! Getting good test scores is nice; saving lives is crucial.