A School Bully Can Kill Your Child
by Patty Inglish, MS

A Serious Epidemic
School bullies can kill other children. Bullies do kill other children.
2008 -- An American youth attempts suicide every 42 seconds or more often. Many times it is the result of bullying.

This HAS happened in my home state and my home city as well as many others in the US. Further, some children that are bullied and cannot tolerate it, stand up to it or receive help from adults, commit suicide. The incidence of this phenomenon is receiving increased 21st century press over young suicides stemming from Internet bullying.

The rise in teen suicides in America is evident -- In 1950 the rate of suicide among 15-19 year-olds was 2.7 per 100,000. In 1990, it had increased to 11:1 per 100,000, over 300% more. 2008 -- An American youth attempts suicide at least every 42 seconds.

The activites of abuse are more rampant in America than in previous years. However, some communities are making significant strides in solving the problem. Many Canadian communities and their school systems have outlawed bully activities of all kinds and take legal action against school bullies.

Children must be supported by adults in a community and an educational system in which they can depend on the fact that bullyism will not be tolerated and which teach children how to stand up to it.

Some adults in authority do not want to confront the problem of bullyism at school, this lack of action related to:

• They don't know there is a problem - the target child has been told not to tell, or is afraid to tell all on their own, without being threatened.
• Disbelief that the problem is real or not taking the problem seriously
• Fear of confrontation with the bully, school administration, bully's family, the press, others
• Not wanting to suffer repercussions from the bully or his/her family and the community
• Not wanting to "do the paperwork"
• Lack of energy to put forth the effort to fight bullyism
• Hoping someone else will solve the problem [Kitty Genovese Syndrome*]
• Belief that the bullied child got what they deserved
• Belief that kids should fight it out - sometimes it works, not usually if the bully is the victim of abuse at home and/or has an SMD (Severe Mental Disorder)
• Some parents punish their children for getting bullied, because their child is "causing a problem"

*In 1960s New York City - March 4, 1964 - Catherine Genovese was knifed to death in an area akin to a high rise apartment building courtyard while tenants and passersby looked on and did nothing to help her, not even calling for the police; -- Simon Dinitz, a second generation founder of criminology. This phenomenon is also called the bystander syndrome. Spectators used the excuse that it was a lovers' quarrel or drunken fight by people leaving a bar.

My own thoughts are these: Kitty worked in a NYC bar and got home at 3:15 AM -- both of these facts (higher risk nighttime occupation; late hours) hurt her chances of getting into her apartment unharmed in a high crime city, but we need to work to eliminate these crimes as well. The killer was, in fact, caught, jailed, and denied parole again on March 8, 2008, 44 years later almost to the day. He was stopped.

Bullycide in America
BULLYCIDE: Homicide & Suicide Examples

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