I’m going to do something a little different today. As you know (and if you don’t then you will now), this month is bully awareness month. And as you also know, cyberbullying is a crisis that I like to address here on my blog, as well as provide resources and insights to teachers, parents and any other concerned individual.
Well, as I read this news article last night, which discusses another case of cyberbullying that resulted with a young girl killing herself, I felt like screaming “enough is enough!!” So, I thought that I’d do something a little different, bold and unpleasant here today.
Below you’ll find the names and ages of all the young people that I could find who have committed suicide due to cyberbullying over the last few years.
Cyberbullying is a real crisis
It’s resulting in lost lives and, for those who do not kill themselves, deep internal wounds that can still ruin the lives of the living. Cyberbullying is a real thing and this is my attempt to create more awareness of its ugly, infuriating and unnecessary truth.
Here are some names of young people who have been killed by cyberbullying:
Rebecca Sedwick, age 12, jumped to her death from an abandoned tower on September 9, 2013 (US)
Hannah Smith, age 14, hanged herself July 2013 (UK)
Daniel Perry, age 17, leaped to his death on July 17, 2013 (Scotland)
Gabrielle Molina, age 12, hanged herself May 22nd 2013 (US)
Joshua Unsworth, age 15, hanged himself April 7, 2013 (UK)
Rehtaeh Parsons, age 17, killed herself in April 2013 (CA)
Anthony Stubbs, age 16, hanged himself in January 2013 (UK)
Shannon Gallagher, age 15, took her life on December 12, 2012 (Ireland)
Jessica Laney, age 16, hanged herself on December 11, 2012 (US)
Erin Gallagher, age 13, killed herself on October 27, 2012 (Ireland)
Amanda Todd, age 15, hanged herself on October 10, 2012 (CA)
Ciara Pugsley, age 15, took her own life on September 29, 2012 (Ireland)
Audrie Pott, age 15, hanged herself on September 12th 2012 (US)
Kenneth James Weishuhn, age 14, took his life on April 15th 2012 (US)
Grace K. McComas, age 15, took her life on April 8, 2012 (US)
Sheniz Erkan, age 14, took her life January 2012 (AU)
Courtney Brown, age 17, hanged herself on March 30, 2011 (CA)
Phoebe Prince, age 15, hanged herself on January 14th 2010 (US)
Tyler Clementi, age 18, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge on September 22nd 2010 (US)
Sarah Lynn Butler, age 13, hanged herself on September 26, 2009 (US)
Hope Witsell, age 13, hanged herself on September 12, 2009 (US)
Chanelle Rae, age 14, killed herself on July 22, 2009 (AU)
Jessica (Jesse) Logan, age 18, hanged herself on July 3rd 2008 (US)
Megan Meier, age 13, hanged herself in October 2006 (US)
Rachael Neblett, age 17, shot herself in the chest on October 9, 2006 (US)
Ryan Halligan, age 13, hanged himself on October 7, 2003 (US)
Enough is enough. Let’s do something about this real-world crisis
Yes, it’s parents’ job to teach and monitor their children. Yes, I encourage schools and teachers to teach and monitor their students. But we can only teach what we can teach and we can only monitor so much. I’m at a loss for words. My goal is to awaken closed eyes and to bring realities and resources to the forefront for those who are ready and willing to use them. We all play a role in the way we teach the young people around us. The way we listen to their words and to their silence. What we need to do is empower ourselves and our youths to not be shy to speak up, take action and DO something. I’m certainly willing to do more than just blog about it. However, since I don’t specialize in cyberbullying, I need your help.
If you’re a part of the education system; if you have experience with cyberbullying in any way, shape or form; if you’re in law enforcement; if you’re an attorney who knows something about this subject from the legal perspective; or if you simply care and want to do more than just sit around and read horrific articles about more children who have taken their own lives, then let’s talk! Together, I’m sure that we can pull our resources and areas of expertise and take some form of action that will help. I’m open and willing and want to hear from you if you are too. Let’s make this bully awareness month count by putting some wheels in motion! If this sounds like a project that you’d like to take on with me, then contact me.
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.
Leave a Reply