Cyberbullying Related Suicides : Bullying, Suicide, And Self Harm

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At 6 p.m., October 10, 2012, fifteen year old Amanda Todd hung herself after she posted a gripping video called, “My Story:Struggling,bullying, suicide,and self harm” after being harassed and bullied online for many years. While she was in the 7th grade, Amanda Todd had an online video conversation with someone who asked her to flash her breasts, which she eventually did. After one year, she was contacted by the same person who threatened to post her pictures on the Internet if she didn’t provide more provocative pictures. Even though she refused to send pictures to him, her pictures were sent to her family and friends. Despite switching schools, the cyber bullying continued and a Facebook page of her with the picture of her breasts as the profile picture was created. Even though Amanda tried to kill herself by drinking bleach, the abuse was too much, so she hung herself (Pendergrass and Wright,in press). Some questions to address with cyberbullying related suicides are: how do we define and recognize cyberbullying, how do we protect those who are cyberbullied, and how do we educate parents and other adults to protect children and adolescents from cyberbullying? With electronic communication becoming so prevalent, we cannot afford to ignore the increasing dangers of the societal shift from a traditional schoolyard bully to to the anonymous cyberbully. Children and adolescents deserve to be protected, parents and teachers need to understand the risks that cyber bullying
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