My heart sunk recently when I read a couple of news stories about two young girls killing themselves after enduring weeks of bullying at their schools.
In the first news story dated Nov. 30 and titled “Aurora 10-year-old takes her own life after suspected bullying incident caught on camera” by Ashley Michels from Fox 31 in Denver, Colo., Ashawnty Davis, a fifth-grader, hung herself after she was allegedly seen defending herself in a bullying incident caught on video and posted to the app Musical.ly.
In the second news story dated Dec. 5 titled “Bullying drove 13-year-old Rosie Avila to kill herself, parents say” by Elizabeth Chuck with NBC News, Freddie Avila from Yucaipa, Calif., Rosie’s father, states his daughter hung herself after being bullied at school and on social media.
It is hard enough when a kid is trying to figure out who he or she is in life to also be subjected to bullying from their peers. It is not only hurtful, but it’s also harmful.
In a Dec. 8 video on the Internet, Keaton Jones, from Tennessee, is seen crying and stating it not right for kids to bully other kids and asking his mother why they do it, after being picked up from school by her after he was bullied in the school cafeteria.
In my own experiences over the years, I have seen kids who bully other kids are bullied themselves or are unhappy with some aspect of their own life.
According to stopbullying.gov, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
The website also states there are three types of bullying — verbal, social and physical — and includes actions such as kids making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone both physically and verbally or excluding them from a group on purpose.
No one deserves to be bullied at school.
Schools implementing bullying programs or holding assemblies are not going to be enough. The only way bullying is going to stop is when kids take a stand against bullying.
Kids should be reminded that if they see a classmate being bullied or are being bullied themselves, they should speak up — tell a teacher, parent or authority figure.
Parents, speak to your children and let them know bullying is wrong.
If kids are killing themselves because of being bullied at school, then kids bullying kids needs to stop.
The Office of Safe Schools with the Pennsylvania Department of Education offers a bullying prevention consultation information line with available resources on how to deal with school-based bullying. The consultation information line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-716-0424.