Technology brought us texting, which can lead some to bullying and in turn lead to tragedy. A twelve year old’s suicide is being held responsible by suspects ages 12 and 14. The pair were arrested after, Rebecca Sedwick from Florida, committed suicide from months of cyber-bullying that was aimed directly at her. The sheriff, Grady Judd, asked the questions and decided he didn’t want these two bullying others through verbal and mental attacks on social medias.
The charge is felony aggravated stalking. The terror, imposed by a gang of girls, who tortured her online and through texts had their cell phones and computers examined as part of the investigation. Comments were posted that Sedwick should “drink bleach and die.” The names and photos of the accused were released because they are accused of felonies.
Sedwick’s own mother took her out of school after 2012, but she continued to get bullied via her cellphone from social media. Rebecca Sedwick jumped from a tower on September 9th to her death. Florida does have a law against bullying and it was amended July 1st for cyber-bullying.
Suicides from 2007-2010 are up for teens and preteens. Experts are looking into these rates and finding a link between bullying and social media. Feelings are being hurt and teenagers are dealing with it themselves. Schools have begun to recognize this and have opened anti-bullying hotlines. New York City has BRAVEline, a hotline since 2011 that came into being after teachers saw an increase of bullying in their schools.
Another suicide that was brought to attention this year was Jadin; a 15 year old boy who killed himself due to his being bullied at school. His father became distraught, quit his job and began walking to New York City, where his son, who was gay, wanted to work one day. This father posted his story and his walk-journey on Facebook. Tragically, as he was telling his story and carrying his son in his heart, he was killed by a tractor-trailer on October 9th.
Bullying of girls by girls, bullying against gays, where does it end?
The Major League Baseball has decided that purple reigns on October 17th. Spirit Day, has been recognized nationwide by baseball. Spirit Day started in 2010 and is organized by GLAAD, a gay and lesbian alliance against defamation. GLADD gathers together celebrities, brands, landmarks, sport leagues, faiths, schools, and universities, in order to speak up for these minors everywhere. Together, these people want to stand behind the youth of this country who are bullied and unfortunately for some that have taken their own life because of this.
The Pediatricians of America have made their recommendations about social media use. They believe screens and medias used on these, should not be in the bedroom of children. They also want parents to limit quantity as well as regulating the quality.
Kids and teens spend more time now than in school on their devices. Eighty four percent of children and teenagers are on the net and a huge number 88% text. Not only do parents of teens need to be vigilante about homework, friends, tobacco usage, and underage drinking but media usage as well.
Technology is a powerful tool, one that preteens and teenagers use everyday. More guidelines and anti-bullying laws are needed, as well as consequences, before it gets to an awful equation of suicides from bullying via texting and other social medias.
Written by Kim Troike