Bullycide: Is It A Fad Or A Growing Epidemic?
by Normandy D. Piccolo
I will be but a memory is what I’ve been told
My locker will be emptied, my clothes will be sold
No one will miss me, or so they type
Sure my death will be news, until the next hype
Stupid, dumb, ugly, fat, slut, lame
You should die they said, imagine the fame
Newspapers, Television, Facebook, Twitter
Problem is, my parents said they didn’t raise no quitter
Miss me, don’t miss me, suppose that’s your choice
Will your heart even break, will your eyes become moist?
Do it…..Don’t do it…Not sure which will win
Die before it’s time….Heard that’s a big sin
Stupid, dumb, ugly, fat, slut, lame
How I wish I could start over
How I hate this hurtful game...
Alone in a bedroom closet, a young body sways silently side to side, the question, “Why didn’t anybody ever like me?”, looping over and over inside their head until that final breath escapes their body. Alone in life. Now alone in death. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The spotlight has been thrust upon bullying and suicide once again with the recent death of 12-year-old Gabrielle Molina, who hung herself because of online bullying per the suicide note she left behind. On May 9th, 14-year-old Braylee Rice of Marian, Indiana, left class and hung herself from her middle school’s bleachers after enduring relentless bullying. Then there is Kaine Breeden, a 13-year-old boy, who too ended his life because of bullying on May 7th. And those are only a few of the stories about children who have committed suicide this month alone because of bullying.
There is no question that Bullying has become a hot topic in the news, on the television and even in the movie theater. But there is another side to bullying. A side so critical, it leaves in its wake devastated, heartbroken parents who struggle for years trying to understand, “Why?” Siblings carry false guilt for not being a better sister or brother. And friends wonder how they could have missed the signs. It’s called Bullycide: suicide because of bullying.
For months, children who committed Bullycide grabbed headlines. Many tears were shed and cries of outrage echoed off of posted comments on websites, as more and more people became aware of the painful fallout from severe bullying. Then one day the headlines abruptly stopped. Various media outlets cited concern over creating a “Fad” by appearing to glorify the Bullycide victims.
“...you should die they said, imagine the fame.”
Even without the attention grabbing headlines, suicide because of bullying continues. So I have to ask, “Is Bullycide really a fad as feared or has it become a tragic reality that can no longer be ignored?” The time has come to take a hard look at this unpleasant topic and deal with it once and for all.
Each year more than 160,000 students are absent from school due to bullying. Harsh words, hard slaps, cyber-bullying, social bullying, slut shaming,..the list of mental, physical and emotional abuse goes on. Some kids opt to fight back physically, while others tell an adult they are being bullied. Some are removed from the troubling school and are either placed in a new school or get home schooled.
Then there are those who are bullied to the point of choosing to end their lives in order to stop the pain felt deep down inside.
Those who commit Bullycide most often do so by hanging. From a medical standpoint what they are actually doing is most likely strangulation, a very painful, long-suffering way to die. The cold hard fact is that the victim not only felt severe pain in life, but he or she endured equal pain in the throws of death as well. Alone.
Bullycide is becoming a fast growing epidemic. Not a hip, trendy, cool new thing to do. It’s not a fad, but instead, a tragic solution kids are seeking out as a means to end pain brought about by severe bullying. Bullied victims don’t know or realize that suicide is never the answer to ending their pain. Ever. Suicide is hurtful, ugly, nasty, and a selfish act. Yes, selfish. I’m not guilting, I’m stating the truth.
Law Enforcement and School Officials are struggling to find answers to the bullying problem. So far their efforts appear to have fallen short because Bullycide is on the rise, not the decline. Parents are frustrated more now than before, unsure of what to do, while their children live in constant fear and torment with no answer to this ever-growing problem looming on the horizon.
Many good-hearted organizations are working hard to bring bullying to an end, but they are selling an unrealistic hope. Let’s face facts - Bullying will never end, but eventually it will be contained with the help of new laws, better education and more awareness. In all realms of the world, whether human, insect or animal, there is always some form of bullying. It’s to what degree the bullying is exerted which begs concern. And with technology today and non-communicating families, the exertion of bullying upon a victim has gotten out of control. A bullied victim cannot get away from the abuse, even if they move across the Country.
Did you know that nine children committed Bullycide in the last 3 weeks? That is nine children too many. Nine shattered families. Nine lives that could have been...if only more awareness about Bullycide had been available. The average age of children committing Bullycide was slated at 13 - 16 years old, but those numbers are changing on both ends. The youngest reported death by Bullycide to date is a five year old boy in England. Five years old. How is that even possible?
There are several new books available on Bullycide, along with many organizations dedicated to bringing about awareness to this specific problem. Until we as a society become better educated about bullying, about suicide, and acknowledge that the two are starting to march hand in hand, more children will kill themselves and more families will grieve a loss that didn’t have to be.
Instead of focusing on those who are no longer with us, attention needs to be placed upon the issue of Bullycide itself in the hopes of helping those teetering on the brink of making that life or death decision to choose life as the answer and not death.
While many parents prepare to attend their children’s graduation, other parents will mourn the loss of their children who were literally bullied to death during this school year. Instead of, “Congratulations” it will be “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
A bullied victim once asked, “How Should I End It And If I Did, Would You Care?”
Do we as a society care enough to start dealing with this unpleasant topic or will we continue to ignore Bullycide hoping it will eventually just fade away?
Normandy D. Piccolo is the author of Bullycide: To Whom It Concerns, a collection of written entries and drawings expressing the painful fall out that comes from being bullied. If you want to know how it feels to be bullied to the point of considering committing Bullycide...this book is Painfully Raw - Real - Honest. Ms. Piccolo has appeared on TV, in magazine articles and has done a radio interview about Bullycide. She has also written ads for well-known Country Music Stars like Charlie Daniels and penned scripts for the cartoon Auto-B-Good. More information about Ms. Piccolo is available atwww.bullycidethebook.com , on her blog at http://bullycidetowhomitconcerns.blogspot.com/ and her Facebook page,www.facebook.com/bullycidetowhomitconcerns She currently lives in Tampa, Florida.