I am always shocked to learn of the death of a young person, the loss of young life is always a tragedy but in the last week alone I have learned of three teenage suicides which by all accounts seem to be the result of bullying. If this were my very own world I would insist on a blanket, zero tolerance policy towards bullying in all schools, only one warning to the bully and if he/she continues to bully then immediate expulsion, none of this feeble detention business or a little visit to the headmaster, punishments like these are no more than another string to the bow of a child who bullies for fun. I am aware that the issue doesn’t necessarily stop there for the bully and inevitably he/she will have trouble ahead, perhaps moving school again and again and possibly with such a reputation they may not even find a school but maybe, just maybe, the majority of bullies would learn through the shame of expulsion that bullying is NOT acceptable and will not be tolerated in society. We’re half way there with smoking……why the hell can’t we do it with bullying??? What are we not doing right, why is seemingly it so difficult to stamp this disgusting behaviour out in our schools?
Last Wednesday a young girl, Amanda Todd, was found dead in Toronto, she had committed suicide five weeks after posting a heartbreaking video on YouTube detailing how she was harassed online and bullied for several years, her video was entitled “My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self harm.” The film details how she had been subjected to intense bullying after making the mistake of exposing her breasts over a webcam in Grade 7, she says that she was beaten up outside a new school and left in a ditch where her father found her and later she was hospitalized after drinking bleach at home. Amanda moved school many times but the bullying was unceasing; during the nine minute video Amanda does not speak, but instead holds up pieces of paper on which she had printed her story, one phrase at a time; she documents her painful tale of being harassed through Facebook leaving her feeling alone and suicidal. Please take the time to watch this video, it is very moving and in a way life changing.
More than 100 people gathered at Maple Ridge’s Peace Park to remember Amanda yesterday and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death continues.
Although this teenage suicide took place in Canada I can think of two that have taken place here in the UK in the last week alone and this has to stop! We, the “grown ups”, must find a way to curb the shameful blot on our society that is BULLYING; I agree that the pressure of exams and getting the A*’s is becoming increasingly more intense but I suspect that the pressure on young ones of being bullied is ten times worse and particularly at this age when all we really want is to be accepted by our friends. I used to spend hours, aged 13 – 17, wondering who liked me and who didn’t, how I could make so and so like me, why X wasn’t as nice to me as she was to Y…….the worrying was endless and I actually HAD friends, I cannot imagine the mental anguish of children who feel that they have no real friends at all…….ELLIE xx