Two Girls Arrested In Connection With Classmate’s Suicide
A recent national bullying study found that 32% of students ages 12-18 have experienced bullying at some point.
It makes me sick to my stomach to continue to read stories of precious human beings who’ve taken their lives because they’ve fallen victim to bullying.
Bullying isn’t something new. It’s been around for ages. I can’t say that I was bullied in a horrible way as a kid, but I was made fun of quite a bit because of the size of my chest, something I had no control over. It was hard enough dealing with the emotions that come with hormonal changes, but to also be self conscious of the size of my chest and to be teased mercilessly about it was enough to throw me into tears.
I had a great support net in my family, but some kids aren’t so lucky. More often than not, it seems we hear that parents aren’t doing anything on either end to stop the bullying or to empower the kid being bullied.
Two Florida girls have been arrested for cyber-bullying a 12-year-old girl who then took her own life. Authorities said they sped up the arrest of the girls, ages 14 and 12, after the older of the girls posted on Facebook on Saturday that she bullied Rebecca but she didn't care.
"We decided that we can't leave her out there. Who else is she going to torment, who else is she going to harass?" Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. The 14-year-old girl was accused of threatening to beat up Rebecca Sedwick while they were sixth-graders at Crystal Lake Middle School, telling her "to drink bleach and die" and repeatedly saying she should kill herself. She was also accused of convincing the younger girl to bully Rebecca.
Rebecca jumped to her death from an abandoned tower on September 9th. Authorities said as many as 15 girls may have bullied Rebecca and the investigation is continuing.
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, but aren’t sure, here are some things to look for:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
If you suspect that your child bullying another child, but aren’t sure, here are some signs that they might be:
- Get into physical or verbal fights
- Have friends who bully others
- Are increasingly aggressive
- Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
- Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
- Blame others for their problems
- Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
- Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Please do me a favor and take the time to talk to your kids about bullying. I know that life can get busy, but aren't your kids worth the time? Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. Kids need to know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help.
- Encourage your kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. Encourage your child to report bullying if it happens.
- Talk about how to stand up to kids who bully. Talk about what to do if words don’t work.
- Talk about strategies for staying safe, such as staying near adults or groups of other kids.
- Urge your kids to help kids who are bullied by showing kindness or getting help.