Bullycide In America

A few months ago I found a video on YouTube called Bullycide and posted an article with the video. It seems like the term Bullycide is becoming a more common term used to describe when a young person commits suicide after being bullied where the choice they made seems tied to the bullying they received.

I just found this web link to a book called Bullycide In America. The book is compilation of letters and stories from parents who have lost their child to suicide due to bullying. Brenda High, founder and co-director of Bully Police, USA, Inc. compiled the book.

She should know quite a bit about this subject, because she lost her son, Jared to suicide from the effects of bullying in 1998. Her site www.jaredstory.com tells her story in a compelling and moving way. If interested, take a look at this book and the other support offerings from the Bully Police website.

CNN Follow-up on the Carl Walker Story

CNN’s Anderson Cooper aired another excellent segment on the Carl Walker suicide story the other day. It included a very good interview wiht Barbara Coloroso, the author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School–How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence“, which is listed below in my Book section. You can see it by CLICKING THIS LINK!

Don’t Judge A Book…Here’s Susan Boyle

Remember the story of Paul Potts that appeared on this blog in October of 2007. Well, funny enough, the Brits have done it again on their Britain’s Got Talent program. This time, Susan Boyle entered the stage. Just like on America’s Got Talent, unknown British folk come out and do their thing to try to win the contest.

Susan Boyle a, a 47 year old woman who claims to have never been kissed or married came out to cat calls and laughs from both the audience and judges. What were they laughing at? Well, Susan Boyle is not the most attractive of people. She doesn’t have movie star looks and wears somewhat frumpy clothes. One can only imagine the ridicule she took in the past and what she deals with now. But, amazingly, she seems to take it all in stride and has a confidence that seems out of place with what she was dealing with.

So, out she comes on stage to perform. Here’s the video of what happened next.

The level of bravery and confidence to come out and do what she did around the people who were laughing at her was admirable. Watching it hits an emotional cord. If not, you should ask yourself if you are  really living. This is now the 2nd time that Britain has seen this type of person come out. One that would be marked the loser, the wimp, the shlub. Call it what you want, but this type of event certainly shows that people can rise above the ridicule of others to bravely do what they do best.

Her mistaken walk-off at the end is ironic in that she probably felt like she showed them and was ready to exit. Thank you Susan Boyle for proving that you can conquor the doubters and bullies.

Middle School Boy Suicide from Effects of Bullying

One of my good college friends sent me an article out of New York. A young 11-year-old boy named Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hung himself after dealing with daily bullying at school. Below is a picture of Carl.

Carl Josef Walker-Hoover

Carl Josef Walker-Hoover

The thing so shocking to me is, to look at his picture, there is no indication that he could be bullied, right? He’s a football player and looks like he could take care of himself. Well, that was wrong! The article from the GLSEN site goes on to say:

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hung himself Monday after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay, despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. This is at least the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to bullying this year.

“Our hearts go out to Carl’s mother, Sirdeaner L. Walker, and other members of Carl’s family, as well as to the community suffering from this loss,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “As we mourn yet another tragedy involving bullying at school, we must heed Ms. Walker’s urgent call for real, systemic, effective responses to the endemic problem of bullying and harassment. Especially in this time of societal crisis, adults in schools must be alert to the heightened pressure children face, and take action to create safe learning environments for the students in their care. In order to do that effectively, as this case so tragically illustrates, schools must deal head-on with anti-gay language and behavior.”

Yes, schools must deal with this and more. My son is 11-years-old and I really can’t imagine what could lead him to even consider suicide. But, that said, he has a friend right now who is dealing with bullying and, in talking with the mom of the friend, they are dealing with similar emotional issues. So much goes unreported in bullying that looking fot the signs of it must become a full-time job of educators and parents.

His mother spoke out in a local news report in the hopes to prevent this from happening again:

Another interesting development is that the friend who sent this to me also admitted to me for the first time that bullying had a profound effect on him and the choices he made and still makes in his life and now in his son’s education and environment.  I’ve known him for 18 years and didn’t even know he has had to deal with the effects until just now. He is someone I respect very much and always see as a confident and strong leader. I will be talking with him more over the next few months and hopefully he will write on this blog. I’m sure he has lots to say about this issue as well and I look forward to his input. I am interested in yours as well. Please add comments and your stories to this blog. I believe it can help others who are dealing with these issues.

Another Form of Internet Bullying?

OK, I know that it is April 1st and that brings around pranks, but some pranks are funny and some are maybe not so funny and hurt a little.

I can honestly tell you that this particular prank that way played on me today brought back some ole’ bullying memories. I was sent an online article to read and at a very important point in the article, they asked me to CLICK HERE. I did, and what I saw certainly felt like bullying.

Anyway, thought given that today is April 1st, I would share this new form of internet bullying. Something I just didn’t know about until today.

And yes, I know today is April Fools Day. I hope you do too.