Bullying Results in Suicide...

Jaime - posted on 05/10/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Today when I got home from my friend's place, I got a call from my cousin who told me about a suicide (that happened either today or yesterday) of a local teen. It turns out my cousin is good friends with someone that is close to the family and it was a result of the kid being bullied. I don't know much about the details of the case yet, and I'm not even certain of whether it was a male or female (although I'm pretty certain male), but what I do know is that it could have been prevented. The kid had been the target of bullies for quite some time I guess, but what I don't understand is why the parents and the school didn't see this coming? And more to the point, why wasn't anything pro-actively done to ensure that students had a place to turn to if they were faced with situations they felt they couldn't handle. Suicide at 13 years of age is hardly justifiable under any circumstances. A 13-year-old has an entire lifetime ahead of them and is only just beginning to understand the dynamics of social interaction. Yes, bullying is a powerful blow to self-esteem and confidence...but that's why we have support programs implemented in schools so that kids have an outlet. I am struggling to understand the pain and agony that this young child must have endured to lead him/her to such a drastic end to the suffering.

So, with that said, I am curious to know what others think about the schools that their children attend. Do you feel that the school offers enough support and awareness to the students? Where were the teachers when this child was being bullied and dragged around the school yard with their pants around their ankles? Where were the parents when their child was ending his/her life? What will become of the bullies whose actions most certainly led to such a tragic end? Who is going to really fight for these kids and put an end to the aggressive, destructive behaviour that most certainly leads to a lifetime of regret and sadness? This didn't have to happen, but now an entire town is shaken and no one has a clue where to go from here...

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Jaime - posted on 05/11/2010

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Not at all Dana...your opinion is extremely valid in this discussion, and I agree that there most likely was some kind of underlying mental issue for the boy that killed himself, but I do think the issues were a result of being bullied. Considering what was known about this boy (his name was Bryten Brown), he enjoyed playing baseball and golf outside of school, so he was active in the community which tells me that he likely wasn't suffering from any latent mental defect apart from the stress of being bullied. He came from a large family, having six other siblings and although that can put some stress on an individual that might not have the greatest financial situation, he seemed to be a good-natured kid. Some of the students have already come forward and pointed out the kids responsible for bullying Bryten, so it is my hope that now the community and the school board will work together to figure out a way to get through to the kids that bullying is abuse and it won't be tolerated. Yes, it's true that some kids get bullied (I was bullied and I spent the better part of my elementary years in therapy for it) but it's up to parents on both sides of the equation to make sure their kids have a strong defense against it, and that they also understand--FULLY-- the consequences of what can happen when someone is bullied. As someone pointed out already, most bullies come from situations where they are also bullied by their parents or other authority figures, so they are just perpetuating the behaviour that they have been modeled (this is one more reason that I appreciate having PBS to turn to). I am heartbroken for the family of this young boy that died, but I am more heartbroken for the harsh slap-in-the-face reality that these bullies are now facing. To know that you had a hand in ending someone's life...that doesn't go away easily. I can only hope that these kids get the help that they need to change their attitudes and turn their lives around. But I really and truly feel like the parents, teachers and community NEED to be firm on their stance that bullying of any kind is not acceptable and will not, under any circumstances, be tolerated. I'm not suggesting that bullies be put in jail, but I definitely think that there should be reprimand in place for their actions. Bullying is on the rise in recent years, so I think it's imperative that programs be put in place to deal swiftly with the effects of bullying. Kids need a safe and productive environment to learn in...and when a child goes to school everyday knowing they will come face-to-face with their greatest oppressor it's no wonder Bryten felt he had no other alternative.

I'm attaching a link below to the write-up in the news about his death:

http://www.am980.ca/channels/news/local/...

Jaime - posted on 05/11/2010

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I agree that it is the parents' job to teach their children that bullying is not acceptable...but it really is also the teacher's job too. If you think about it, from the age of 4 until 17 kids spend upwards of 8 hours a day at school...and if 8 hours in a day is spent sleeping, that only leaves 8 hours of home time. So in essence, parents and teachers split the responsibility 50-50. We have a responsibility to our children to teach them and discipline them so that they learn and understand how to behave in society...but once they are released into society, we can't expect that our teachings will hold under influences that are sometimes beyond our control. So when they are away from home, it is imperative that schools take the guardianship of children seriously.

I was talking with a friend of mine that I went to elementary school with, about the suicide and he said to me "bullying is a part of life, it happens". But that got me thinking...it's that exact mind-set that sets us back every time there is a report of bullying or violence. Yes, it's very true that bullying is going to happen because we can't control what goes on behind closed doors in the private sector...but that's exactly WHY the public sector has to step up and 'be the change we want to see'. If a child is bullied or abused at home, there are programs and organizations designed to help (CAS, big brother/big sister, counseling, etc). I am a realist and therefore I do very much understand the massive undertaking that this will call for on a national and global front...but it's not impossible to think that one day the thirst for power won't be at the forefront of survival...we don't NEED to fight amongst each other to survive...we choose to fight. The same goes for bullying...it is completely preventable, but I believe the reason it is on the rise is a result of the decline in family focus and the increase in personal advancement. It's great that individuality is embraced in our society, but the tight-knit bond of a family unit provides the solace that one will eventually seek when times are tough. I do think that families need to be aware of the potential for bullying and work damn hard to defend against it...but it will only go so far...the rest of the work needs to be done by those people that influence and encourage our childrens' learning once we have taught them the basics.

I am a strong believer in the saying "it takes a village to raise a child"...

Meghan - posted on 05/11/2010

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I believe that the school's do need to do something more than what they are doing. I hear a lot of stories like this and it breaks my heart.
But here is another aspect of it..I have been hearing a few stories where PARENTS are bullying other children
http://www.registercitizen.com/articles/...
http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=...
http://www.crn.com/networking/207800673;...
Those are just a few..ultimatly I think it is a parents job to teach their cild that they CAN NOT treat other's this way. Unfortunatly I am assuming these parents also treat other adults poorly as well! I was at playgroup on anti bully day and we where talking about it and one of the dad's said "I don't believe in bullying, if someone get's bullied, they deserve it" my jaw hit the floor and he got an ear full from me! IMO there is NO reason to pick on someone. You don't need to like everyone but I whole heartedly believe ify ou don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

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Meghan - posted on 05/11/2010

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I know hey??? but like I said I would love to say the schools should do more but really...it's not a teacher's job...the can observe it and try to help, but more parents need to be stepping in and telling their kids this is not ok. I would be HORRIFIED if J ever picked on someone! And another thing, kids need to be taught that if you stand by, watch and do nothing, you are just as bad as the person doing the bullying!!!
I was not raised to be like that-I did get picked on in earlier years but by highschool I was kinda the class clown, everyone's friend and I stood up for kids that got picked on! I know as a tween/teen, it is hard to understand that there is life after today, and tomorrow! But it's starts at home!!!

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Brytens story is heartbreaking.I hope those who were involved understand the unbearable pain there words and actions caused.I think Dana's opinion is valid, although i think there's bullying & bulling to the extreme,neither is right but different kids deal with it in different ways and for some who are extremely victimized day in and out are usually the ones who cant bare go another day.



I pray for his family and friends left behind to deal with the loss of this young boy.

[deleted account]

I haven't read everyone elses responses yet, so I'm not sure if this has been brought up already and I really hope I'm not offending anyone with what I'm about to say.....



A lot of people get bullied.....I was one of them! It's always to different and varying degrees but I guess the point I wanna make is that there may have been some underlying ' mental issues ' that no one was aware of? I know that as a teenager I often thought about suicide and even went as far as to devise a plan BUT I never carried it out! I know this is a sensitive subject and I think that bullying is appauling.....just being in that situation myself I can't understand how someone could actually end their own life? I promise I'm not judging and I pray that Roxanne doesn't have to go through what I went through AND I also intend to do EVERYTHING in my power to prevent her from being the bully because I think they're even more mentally disturbed!



Hope this doesn't seem harsh to you JL, or any of the other ladies who responded?!! My heart goes out to these kids and I definitely think SOMETHING needs to be done! ♥

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Jamie-It saddens me to think this happens and results in suicide in some cases.Its truly heartbreaking what some children have to injure at the hands of other children.

I was reading about a young Irish girl who was living in America and who took her own life because of the bullying she received from heartless teenagers.She couldn't of tried to reach out for help much more than she tried and even adults failed to hear her cry for help.



I hate bullying and i think all schools need a zero bullying policy and if teachers are aware the should not turn there backs nor parents if there aware of what there children are doing to another.Bully's start young,since i had my first in school she was hit and kicked twice and believe me i put a stop to that and my concerns were definitely heard and dealt with my the school.You stop it as soon as the child starts and you make them see right from wrong from a young age if you dont the grew up to do worse and see nothing wrong with there behaviour.





Whats needed is effort,time and to care enough for the children attending there schools.If the gave this the would make a difference.

Jascinta - posted on 05/11/2010

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i ended up leaving school by the end of year 9 because of bullying... i was sent to a mental health centre due to depression and wanting to commit suicide. my home life was good.... but everything else fell apart for me. i'm just lucky i have the most wonderful and supportive mother on this earth. who nutured me for years till i got through it- and look at me now lol. i hate hearing these stories... because i know that prevention is definently possible. i personally believe bullies become bullies because they themselves have been bullied or are getting bullied. and without support this is a terrible cycle. so in saying that- i think that the bullies themselves should be getting as much emotional support as the ones being bullied... just for different reasons. the whole thing is very sad :(

Amie - posted on 05/10/2010

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Jamie it really is horrible. I know we've had our problems here too but it didn't end in suicide. The boys were prosecuted, one (the leader who egged them all on) is still sitting in jail. The boy they went after has permanent brain damage. He was beaten with bats if I'm recalling correctly.



In that case though it happened off school grounds, at night. I don't remember all the details but I do know they had a problem with him to begin with. I'm not entirely sure why; other than he wasn't a popular kid and did not fit the mold for one at all in the stereotypical sense. He went to a house party with friends and then spent 6 months recovering in one of our hospitals. Now isn't that nice?



This didn't even happen in one of our "lower class" neighborhoods. It happened in one of our richer areas.



^ I only point out that last part too because there was a lot of shock here that it could happen on the East side. I'm not entirely sure why. There are bad parents and bad kids in every one of the classes. Be they rich or poor or middle class, some people are just dicks. And that's me being nice. =)

Amie - posted on 05/10/2010

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You know Nikki I often wonder about the differences between countries. No offense to Americans here but more often than not, I find the school system lacking. =S I understand that the schools are over crowded and new teachers are hard to find. That they are continually getting stuffed with more responsibility but something needs to be done.

Jaime - posted on 05/10/2010

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That's too bad about the girl Amie...thanks for posting that link. It's not the same story as mine though because this actually happened today or yesterday in my town (St. Thomas). I am not able to find any news coverage on it yet, so I think it actually happened today. I will post more as I find the information...I don't know any of the specifics, just that a kid at a local public school committed suicide as a result of being bullied. I was told that the bullies pulled this kid's pants down to the ankles and dragged him/her around the school yard at recess--WHERE WERE THE TEACHERS? I thought that our schools were well-equipped with the knowledge and information necessary to be proactive about bullying...but I'm starting to wonder if we need tougher, harsher consequences and more in-depth programs to prevent this from ever happening again.

Amie - posted on 05/10/2010

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This reminds me of another story I read earlier today. It might be the same one except it's a 15 year old girl, she was an immigrant from Ireland.
This is her story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/us/30b...

I'm quite happy with my children's school and their stance on bullying. As well as the education they give kids on it. It does still happen but is not on the scale of this, it would never get that far. Even in elementary if it is bad enough, the student will be expelled from school. I know of only 1 such boy that it's happened to in the entire 5 years my kids have been going there.
The kids school has posters everywhere about bullying. They teach them why it is wrong. The consequences it could have, not only for themselves but for the child being bullied. Obviously they keep it age appropriate. Our teachers are always on watch of the kids during all times. Of strangers too for that matter.
However I think high school's are a little more lax. I don't know for sure since my children do not attend yet. I do hope that the foundation our elementary schools are laying though are/do help for when the kids get older. I know not all kids will get the message, that bullying will most likely exist for some time yet. However; I do think with more awareness and a better education it will eventually get to the point that these types of stories are no longer part of the news.

Nikki - posted on 05/10/2010

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This subject is one that is near and dear to me, it frustrates the hell out of me, I don't mean to sound like a bitch but teenagers can be such heartless arseholes! I don't understand what is going on in their heads to think that it is ok to taunt one of their peers just because they are not as cool as them, or because they are not wearing the right clothes.

While I obviously do not have children in school this is something that I will be keeping a very close eye on when my daughter reaches school age, it is so important for parents to keep the lines of communication open about this subject. I think the thing that frustrates me the most about this is that schools do not seem to do enough to prevent it and or to control it when it happens. I believe that there should be some kind of curriculum taught in schools from a very early age to teach children not to bully, self esteem building exercises and as they get older the consequences and dangers of bullying. If these types of learning outcomes are taught to children from an early age it is very probably that there would be a reduction in cases of bullying.

Schools need to take more formal actions against repeat offenders who bully, they need to be separated from the children they are bullying, in extreme cases they should be expelled from the school, the children who have been bullied should have access to professional psychologists with complete follow up care.

This poor family, I can't imagine what they are going through, it is such a sad and pointless loss.

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