Suicide Could Have Been Prevented Until The Bully Said – DO IT!
Two students have been accused of cyberbullying in the suicide case of a 12-year-old. Gabriella "Gabby" Green took her own life and it could have all been prevented. This is what shocks me and makes this blog even more important for you to share. Everyone MUST take action steps right now to prevent this from happening at home.
Police reviewed cell phone records and social media messages that implicated the two teens bullying the middle schooler. One of the accused explained that she intended to cause problems between Gabriella and another student making derogatory comments verbally and electronically.
The police reports show the kids spread rumors that she had "sexually transmitted diseases...name calling...threats to expose her personal life."
During a video chat, one of the accusers said if she was going to kill herself - just do it. This should sound an alarm that rings throughout the Treasure Valley. This is a tragedy that could of been prevented. This should shake you to your core because it could be your daughter, niece, or friend. Devastating.
I can't imagine if someone my age said that to me much less how a 12-year-old would feel. I've dealt with bullies and I just ignore them. Cyberbullying is a pathetic, childish, and cowardliness way to push people around. I just delete them. Period. Everyone else who watches this should do the same. Sooner or later they'll get the point when they have no more friends to laugh with.
We have so much work to do as parents, friends, teachers, and family. The first step is leading by example. Kids look up to us and they pay close attention to what WE do. The whole, "do as I say and not as I do" doesn't apply here.
Pay attention and take everything seriously because when you don't, will be the moment you regret for the rest of your life. Be there for everybody, be kind to everybody - Boise mom.
It's very rare that we get a look at someone's life to see what happened. It looks like this little girl reached out and was shut down by her own peers. We have to do better than that and parents have to lead the charge.
My suggestion for right now: I'd like to challenge you to make a stand and not just in the moment. You must make it a point in your day where you ask people if they're okay. Don't let a moment go by that you lose touch. Ask your nephew, sister, daughter, granddaughter, and daughter's friend, "are you okay today?"
How do we have these conversations and teach these little minds that different is awesome! Freckles are great! Glasses are trendy boo! How do we explain that what 5 kids at school are saying about you aren't true and don't listen to them? The first step is getting them to tell you that. Communication is the real answer to the problem. We have to find a path that lets them in to speak their mind no matter how hard it can be. That's not easy for some people. That's my challenge for you today. Who knows, you might save your kid's life today.
I've listed a few resources to help you "break the ice" and begin the conversation.
- Forewarn Your Children: Talk it out with your kids and make sure they don't respond before showing you the message. Don't engage, feed into it, or let them get to you. Don't erase it before they talk with you. Screenshot and save the evidence in the case you need it later.
- Roleplay Responses: This is so smart and could be a challenge with your team but it works. Go through how to respond to different scenarios. This prevents the "shock" a kid is faced with when it happens.
- Stick Together: Teach them to make a deal that the kids will stick together. Standing up for each other in front of a bully can deflate their intent. No bully wants to pick on a group.
- Talk to Your Kids School: It's smart to discover WHEN it's being taught. Think about it for a second. Studies show that anti-bullying should be talked about as early as first grade. Think back when your 12-year-old was in the first grade? Was it that much of a force? Educate yourself to make sure it's being discussed.
- Disconnect to Connect: Just turn off your devices for one minute. Lead by example and both of you go silent. Make it a daily or weekly thing. Just find out how they are. Are they okay?
I hope this helps and if just impacts one person we did our job. Hopefully, this message touches more people than that. If you have a response, advice, or a situation you would like to ask me just shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org