This is not a book about blame or guilt, although it may certainly spark
that kind of discussion. This is not a book about getting even or setting
the record straight, although it may do that as well. And, this is
not a book for clinicians, although it will offer some scientific data
and educational resources.
This is a book of real stories about real kids. Kids who took their own
lives because they thought it was their only way out of a hopeless situation.
It is about the tragic choices they made in an effort to end the pain -
when they believed there was no other solution.
It is told by mothers who are willing to share their own personal pain
as they watched their children suffer and struggle. It is about their own
efforts to advocate for their children while they continue to deal with
their own devastating loss and the aftermath of bullycide...
Judy M. Kuczynski, MS
Mother of a bullied child, Tina,
who died in a car accident in 1998
President of Bully Police USA,
In The Night Brandon’s Story
- “Bullies Who Kill”
Brandon Chris Swartwood -
2/21/82 – 12/16/00
“While you are going through
to fight for your child's rights, your child is the one going
into the battlefield …and today could be the
day that he or she is fatally wounded.”
Brandon's mom, Cathy Swartwood
>> The Aftermath ...For several years, I tried
to work. I had no focus, no energy and enough anger to do a mass killing
of those responsible. Thank God, I had enough maturity, morals and maintained
enough sanity, barely, to refrain from seeking revenge. I say “barely”
on the sanity thing because I was crazy with grief and anger.
there I sat, for the first time in my life, in jail. I had a prescription
bottle of pills in my jean jacket. I was an emotional wreck. I emptied
the entire bottle into my hand as I contemplated my situation.
The System Jared’s Story
- "The scars never go away"
Jared Benjamin High - 09/23/85
“It’s your child. You
must fight for him or her. No one cares like a parent cares...a
parent is motivated by love.”
Jared's mom, Brenda High
>> Looking back
– Looking forward (10 Steps to Stop Bullying) Put yourself into the shoes
of a victim of bullying. Every day a child is bullied is an eternity
to them. We worry about terrorists coming into our country and doing
us harm. A victim of bullying walks into their school each day knowing
their terrorist could strike any moment and destroy their wounded spirit
again, and again. How long can a child play on the freeway dodging cars
before the experience finally becomes too much and they go over the edge?
Jared's Story, Brenda's
Story and Jared's Sister's Story was featured on the
aired on April 21, 2010 - E!
Girl to Girl
Bullying Corinne’s Story
- “Just Go Home and Kill Yourself”
Corinne Wilson - 09/30/91
“Don’t be afraid of the school,
the teachers or administrators. You must remember they work
for you, and your children. If you don’t stand up for
your child, who will?”
Corinne's mom, Rochelle Sides
Aggression – Girl to Girl Bullying Examined ...It started slowly with rumors,
secrets and exclusion; it progressed to harassment and violence.
Like most victims of relational aggression, Corinne blamed herself for
her bully’s behavior. She internalized her pain and kept the bullying
to herself in an attempt to maintain a relationship with her bullies, as
many girls do. As a result, it damaged her self-esteem and caused
severe depression, which ultimately led to Corinne taking her life.
– Another Form Of Bullying
Story - “Rite of Passage"
Matthew Alexander Epling
– 2/10/88 – 7/16/02
“Don't be fooled. Bullying
doesn't have to be repeated, or take place
a period of time. Each child is different. Even one traumatic
can cripple a young mind into a well of despair.”
mom, Tammy Epling
>> A Personal How-To
Guide To Effecting Change Hazing has a few different
components than bullying, but at the core, they are both about “power and
control”. One person has power and control, one person does not.
Bullying, harassment, and hazing - they are all sick twisted cousins. It
is sometimes hard to define when hazing is an assault and when repeated
hazing became bullying. In order to make a wider base we wanted to incorporate
all of the aspects of bullying, harassment and hazing together into a comprehensive
anti bullying plan. ~Tammy
& Kevin Epling
It Feels Like
Story - “8 Months to Bullycide”
Himes - 4/27/86 – 2/14/00
WILL cause depression and depression is the
one cause of suicide. The signs are there – be aware!”
mom, Summer Clinton
>> The Pain of Depression
- What It Feels Like A person that
takes his/her life by suicide is not thinking of themselves or anyone
else. A depressed and suicidal person is not thinking - the brain is not
functioning well enough to have any real thoughts. There are only feelings.
It's all about emotions. You feel sad, upset, unloved, disparity, hopeless,
helpless, alone, gloomy, weighted down and rejection. ~Summer
for a Disaster
Story - “Nice Girls Finish Last Too”
Kristina Arielle Calco -
12/26/89 – 12/4/05
“If you think something is
wrong, something is probably wrong. Go with your gut feelings.”
>> Recipe for a
Disaster: Bullying to Depression, Depression to Suicide Take one part shy & sensitive,
impressionable, naïve young girl and add a lack of self-esteem. Slowly
stir in puberty. Add typical teenage pressures including friends,
grades, sports, extracurricular activities and being perpetually on Instant
Chat. Add a daily dose of teasing, ridicule and torment by a group
of boys and then garnish with what turns out to be a sexually charged and
romantic online relationship with a boy from another high school.
Add to this a seeming inability for intervention in any way, shape or form.
Shake well and then let sit. ~Michelle
Jeffrey’s Story - "Sixth out of
Number-One Son, Right-hand
Scott Johnston - 12/21/89 – 6/29/05
“A bully doesn’t have to be eye to eye to bully someone.
Sometimes he or she gets into cyberspace,
and then there’s no place to hide from their torment.”
New Wave: A Warning about Cyberbullying
problem of cyberbullying is compounded by the very nature of its existence
in the electronic world, where words can have a shelf life of months, years,
and even decades. The tradition of home as a refuge from bullies on the
school playground is over. The Internet is a new playground, and there
are no off hours. ~Adrianna Sgarlata Schweizer, BPUSA Media Director,
NYC – Miss Virginia 2006
the Methods of Suicide
didn’t want to write this chapter, but I believe it needs to be written.
There will be those who will read these stories and almost certainly pass
judgment on three of the mothers in this book based on one thing, the method
of suicide our children chose... “JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure
ye mete, it shall be measured to you again..." Matt. 7:1
Influences of the Media on Bullying
murders. Forty beatings. Does this sound like figures from a police report?
No, unfortunately they are the number of violent acts a group of sixth-graders
observed while watching one hour of prime-time television. ...As parents
and members of a community, we constantly ask our selves, how does TV and
film affect our children? We know that TV has become increasingly
more violent and graphic. How much has it increased?
and Blame–The Code of Silence
is attached to certain acts and attitudes. Among those postures is appearing
to be a victim in any way. This is the same attitude that holds victims
responsible in some way for being raped. When victims believe that no one
can protect them from retaliation they see no reason to tell or report
incidents committed against them. Victims become isolated when they believe
that nothing can be done to change their situation. They become isolated,
depressed, and filled with despair. ~Judy
- Learn how to raise awareness about the serious issue of bullying
Administrators - As a leader, you create the culture for a safe environment
- Learn what to watch for and how to stop your child from being bullied
- Parenting never ends ~ You too can make a difference
- You're the reason for this book!
- You have the ability to influence the public perception on bullying
Health Professionals - See the connections between bullying and suicide
- You can diagnose depression in your clients and find the triggers
Directors/Children - Learn valuable resources for helping victims
- Learn the importance of protecting this country's youngest citizens
- The lessons and warnings in this book may save a precious life
in America: Moms speak out
the bullying/suicide connection
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