• Why bully a suicide victim?

    Date: 04.06.10 | by Judge Tom.

    Cyberbullying has become a national epidemic. Cruel, hurtful comments online or by cell phone have affected up to one-third of American middle and high school students. Some cyber-mob attacks have led some teens to commit suicide – referred to as bullycide.

    One such instance just happened in New York.  Alexis Pilkington was a 17-year-old senior at West Islip High School. Some say she had it all – brains, beauty, athletic ability and a deep love of her family and community.

    Lexi Pilkington

    Alexis would be graduating from high school in 2010 and heading off to college in the fall where she was awarded a soccer scholarship. Tragically, this would not be.  Alexis had been in counseling and became the target of vicious online comments. On March 21, 2010, she hanged herself at home.

    You would think that would put an end to the bullying. But Alexis continued to receive mean-spirited and nasty comments on several social networking sites and on her own memorial page friends set up for her. One such message read: “She was obviously a depressed – - who deserved to kill herself. She got what she wanted. be happy for her death. rejoice in it.” Some even went so far as to create a graphic image of Alexis with a noose around her neck.

    A full investigation is underway and authorities have reported that action will be taken if any communications to Alexis are found to be criminal.

    What do you think about cyberbullying in general? Have you been a target of unwanted and cruel Internet attacks? Why do you think someone would write cruel comments about a teenager committing suicide? Does this say something about our society and the world in which we live?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    2 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Michael
      Wed, 07 Apr 2010 at 10:42

      The laws really need to keep up with the behaviors. I don’t think too many people have been in Alexis’ shoes, but if this girl had what would appear to be everything going for her, looks, intelligence, athletic, solid support system, and still felt compelled to end her life it shows how effective cyberbullying can be. The fact that other “children” continued to post negative comments about the departed is simply horrible. I doubt you could initiate legislation against this behavior, but these kids need more therapy than the victim.

    • kit
      Sun, 17 Apr 2011 at 02:06

      Jealous, stupid girls. These girl was BEAUTIFUL! My thoughts are with her family and friends.

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