Bullycide: What is It and How Can It be Prevented?

Written By: Mary M. Alward
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Disclaimer: This article expresses my opinion that has been formed by personal experience and research. It is not necessarily the opinion of LocalSchoolDirectory.com

We're all familiar with the term suicide, but not many of us have heard the term bullycide. The correct definition of bullycide is: "A suicide caused from the effects of bullying."

If you think bullycide isn't real, just Google the word. There are dozens of websites and several books that have been published about children who have died as the result of bullycide. The best-known case is probably that of Jared High, who was bullied to such an extent that he took his own life. His mother, Brenda, had complained to school administration dozens of times to no avail. Jared was just 13 years-old when he took his own life as a result of being bullied.

Jared isn't the only child to be the victim of bullycide. You can find links to others on the website that Brenda has created in memory of her son. The following statement appears on that website: The only difference between a terrorist and a bully is in the organized planning or cause of the activity, and the scale of terror. A bullied child will believe that there is no difference between a terrorist and a bully given the above definitions.

Children who are bullied at school or in the community have first-hand knowledge of what constitutes a terrorist because they face terror on a daily basis. The definition of terrorism is "extreme terror," and bullied children live under a constant cloud of terror.

What to do?

If your child is being bullied, keep a journal of every incident. Contact the principal, teacher and counselors at your child's school. If the matter isn't resolved, contact the Superintendent of Schools. Set up a meeting and explain your fears. Show education officials the record of the incidents. If nothing is resolved through this course of action, contact the police.

Who's Responsible?

When a child is being bullied, it is the responsibility of the parent to report and record all incidents. Bullying isn't just shoving and pushing. Name calling, destruction of personal property and anything else that deters a child's positive school experience is bullying.

When incidents of bullying are reported to school administrators, officials or teachers, it then becomes their responsibility to ensure your child is safe and free of harassment when he is at school. If school officials and administrators neglect their duties, this makes them, in my opinion, the ultimate offenders and no better than the bully, as they are condoning bullying and terrorism.

It is the responsibility of all adults to protect children who are in their care. In fact, all adults are responsible for the safety of any child who is in danger. When at school, children are under the care of educational professionals, as well as all others who work within the school building. These people are ultimately responsible to ensure that no child is subjected to bullying of any kind. If they don't live up to their responsibilities, they should be arrested for child endangerment.

Demanding Accountability

Parents must demand that educational professionals be accountable for incidents of bullying and deal with it quickly and effectively. Every school in our nation should select an accountability committee to help students and school administration deal with unresolved conflict. The committee can then conclude a fair way to resolve the dispute and recommend how to proceed. The case would then come before the accountability committee on a regular basis to determine progress. No case would be closed until it was resolved successfully.

This type of system in the schools would alleviate all emotional, physical, mental and verbal abuse. If parents don't hold professional educators accountable for bullying, it is a crime. If they were arrested and held legally accountable for bullying incidents, a zero tolerance for bullying would quickly be enforced and become the norm. This would decrease both bullying and bullycide dramatically.

Parental Role

As a parent, you are responsible to demand that professional educators be held accountable for bullying incidents. You are your child's teacher and protector. It's up to you to assure that your child grows up in a healthy environment. If a school is not protecting your child, hold them legally responsible or have them fired for not responding to the criminal act of bullying. This could save the life of your child and other children in the school system.

The Effects of Bullying

Bullying can cause a wide variety of physical and mental illness that includes:

Anxiety.

Depression.

Constant fatigue and lethargy.

Aches and pains.

Irritable bowel syndrome.

Immune system suppression.

Numbness.

Lack of empathy.

Post traumatic stress syndrome.

Panic and anxiety attacks.

Bullycide or suicide.

Bullying can also lead to academic, legal and social problems.

What Leads to Bullycide?

Physical, emotional or mental bullying.

Constant physical, emotional or mental pain.

Embarrassing moment that is constantly brought up by others and used to ridicule the victim.

Being the victim of bullying by a parent, teacher, coach or other adult in a role of authority.

When a victim of bullying loses a close friend to accident or a move when he/she has no other friends.

Signs of Depression

Sadness that is continuous.

Constant fatigue or lethargy.

Anxiety or panic attacks.

Substance abuse.

Persistent crying.

Memory loss.

Attention deficit.

Problems making decisions.

Physical, emotional or mental pain that can't be treated successful.

Self mutilation.

Sharp or drastic change in sleeping or eating patterns.

Thought or attempts of suicide.

Signs of Bullycide

Consistently expressing feelings of hopelessness.

Loss of interest in hobbies or other favorite activities.

Obsession with death.

Giving prized possessions away.

Feelings of worthlessness.

Obsession with contacting or visiting close friends and loved ones.

Don't allow your child to become a bullycide statistic. If you find your child is suffering from any of the signs or symptoms above, contact a health care professional immediately or take him/her to the nears emergency room. Bullycide is dramatically increasing across North America. Let's stop it now before it becomes an epidemic.

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