Bullycide is not limited to the United states
Suicide by anyone, anywhere is a loss for family, friends and the world at large. When a young person decides to end their life out of fear, frustration and loneliness the tragedy seems even greater.
The saying that “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is no longer true.* Words may hurt and can be deadly. Again we read of another bullycide and a teenager who ended his life over suspected bullying at school and cyberbullying online.
Davidel Mizrachi was a 16-year-old student at the Space and Aeronautics School in Maaleh Adumim, Israel. On January 4, 2011 he was home alone and reportedly online chatting on Facebook. He was found hanging in his parents’ bathroom.
David was singled out at school and taunted because he was short. He was reportedly called a dwarf, picked up and put into trash cans and hit by thrown objects. His mother told him about many famous people who were successful regardless of their height. At a doctor’s visit shortly before his passing Davidel opened up a little about how he was mocked and imitated at school. His mother saw some of the belittling comments on his Facebook wall before his siblings deleted them. It was reported that some comments encouraged Davidel to take his own life.
A preliminary investigation into the suicide indicates no suspicion of criminal acts. Detectives are trying to recover the Facebook comments to see if Davidel was encouraged to take his life.
On the positive side, one student wrote “You were a victim of kids without mercy, who don’t understand the consequences of their actions. And they’ve already started paying dearly – because the kind of guilt they now carry is unbearable.”
Davidel”s 13-year-old cousin in the United States, Michael, commented as follows: “Just think what the worst outcome can be because some kids show that they’re strong and act like it but on the inside they aren’t.” Michael’s mother, Yaffa, added that “Kids should know that the victim doesn’t always show signs and Davidel seemed happy although he was afraid to speak up because he wanted to fit in. Parents and teachers need to read between the lines. In his case it was also physical abuse and teachers were aware and did not talk. Even very small signs should be investigated and teachers need to alert parents of anything they see.” (emphasis by ATJ.info)
We offer Davidel’s family & friends our heartfelt condolences. Maybe others will learn from this.
And again: On January 17, 2011, 13-year-old Chloe Coleman hanged herself in her grandfather’s home in Ireland. A few days earlier she had reportedly been physically assaulted at a local teen disco. She received a text message that she would get “some more” on Monday morning. Chloe sent “goodbye texts” to a few friends before taking her life. Her grandfather has called for an investigation into her death. Police have asked some of the teenagers at Chloe’s school to hand over their cell phones.
On January 5, 2013, 14-year-old Carolina Picchio of Italy jumped out her upper floor bedroom window to her death after prolonged online bullying on Facebook. Carolina was tormented by an ex-boyfriend and his friends. Thousands of vulgar messages were posted online. Carolina left a final note to her abusers: “Are you happy now? Have you hurt me enough? Have you had enough revenge? Forgive me if I am not stronger. I cannot take it any longer.” The local prosecutor is considering charges against Facebook for failing to remove offensive content after repeated requests from Carolina’s parents and friends. A number of boys from 15 to 17 are also under investigation.
On August 9, 2015, 15 year-old Brandon Singh Rayat hanged himself at home in England. He had been tormented on social media for over a year with fake Facebook pages and threats of rape against him and his mother. Brandon’s parents are campaigning for change in England’s laws to prevent further incidents of cyber-abuse.
No country is immune from such acts. Bullying in all its forms must stop – traditional and digital.
* For an instructive, interactive program about the effect of words, take a look at SticksandStonesMayBreakMyBones. This is a Canadian production that runs 55 minutes and is aimed at 4th through 12th grades.
Take a look at this short video by Tina 72066 from Temple University (YouTube) on cyberbullying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx6ejc8eNkk Great work, Tina.