My heart sunk recently when I read news stories about two young girls killing themselves after enduring weeks of bullying at their schools.
In the first story by Ashley Michels of Fox 31, Denver, Colo., the reporter tells of Ashawnty Davis, a fifth grader, who hung herself after she was seen defending herself in a bullying incident caught on video and posted to the app Musical.ly.
In the second by Elizabeth Chuck of NBC News, Freddie Avila of Yucaipa, Calif., said his daughter, Rosie, 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, but to also be bullied by peers is not only hurtful but harmful.
In a Dec. 8 Internet video, Keaton Jones, 11, from Tennessee, is shown crying and saying it is not right for kids to bully other kids.
He asks his mother why they do it after he was bullied in his school’s cafeteria.
Children who bully other kids are often bullied themselves or are unhappy with some aspect of their life.
According to stopbullying.gov, bullying involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
The website states there are three types of bullying: verbal, social and physical. These include actions such as kids making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically and/or verbally or purposely excluding the other child from a group on purpose.
No one deserves to be bullied.
Schools implementing bullying programs or holding assemblies is not enough. The only way bullying will stop is when kids take a stand.
If a classmate is being bullied or you are being bullied speak up. Tell a teacher, parent or authority figure.
Parents need to speak to their children and let them know bullying is wrong.
The two young lives lost recently due to bullying is two lives too many.
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 bullying.
The information line is available at 1-866-716-0424.