SHORT COMMUNICATION 358
A Deadly Combination
It is a well-known fact that bullying is a serious problem on most junior high and high school campuses in America. Most of the time, it is just verbal harassment on a consistent basis. Sometimes it gets physical off the school grounds. That is where it can get out of control. It used to be only boys bullying boys. Now it includes girls bullying girls. Once in a while a boy will bully a girl. Bullying sometimes causes parents to get involved. One father even went to the bully’s house beat up the bully. Of course the father ended up being arrested.
Now there is a new chapter being added to the bullying syndrome. It is a very, very serious new problem being added to an old serious problem: It is called CYBERBULLYING." It's a weapon of great publication to a great audience instantly and anonymously." It's bullying with smartphones, and the percentage of teen-agers who have experienced it went from 6 percent in the year 2000 to 72 percent in 2008. Now, in 2013 the percentage is over 85 percent. It is a very potent and devastating form of bullying that is very frequently used, and it leads to tragic suicide consequences, especially among teenage girls: Hope Witsell, Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons, and Audrie Pott. Many suicide attempts that are made fail.
Hope Witsell made the mistake of texting a boy she liked a picture of her bare breasts. A rival girl got ahold of the photo and texted it around school. It went viral almost instantly. After enduring, taunts in person and electronically, she finally hanged herself. Amanda Todd killed herself that followed the electronic showing of a photo of her breasts. Rehtaeh Parsons hanged herself after one of four boys accused of raping her distributed a photo of her having sex. Audrei Pott was assaulted at a party and photos of her nude body that was all decorated were distributed electronically. She suffered great harassment and humiliation from that cyberbullying. Eight days later after she got home she quickly went into the bathroom and hanged herself to her mother's great shock and dismay.
The list of lives lost through suicide figures to grow longer because of smartphone texting and the increasing culture of the callousness that people display when they talk electronically and anonymously instead of in person. Texting gets overlooked when talk is about cyberbullying and that is a mistake. It's proven that texting can go viral instantly, faster than ever before, photo and all, and also anonymously. Girls in their mid-teens most likely will commit suicide.
Two of the four girls mentioned above who committed suicide received an overwhelming lack of support from their friends. In fact the girls were instead blamed for what happened to them. That blame along with the suffering and humiliation they endured was the last they could take. Now, their lives and destinies have been wasted and only their names are part of America’s history outside of their families, who will grieve forever and never forget what could have been. Only God, our loving Lord and Savior know for sure.