Bullying/ Cyber bullying
Bullying is a serious mental health problem that leaves many school age children, adolescents and young adults to suffer in silence. Nevertheless the subject has earned much notoriety because of media coverage after tragic suicide deaths of young adults. Bullying affects the quality of the academic environment for all students. Anyone can be a target of bullying. On the other hand anyone hes the potential to be a bully. Therefore a greater emphasis needs to be placed on educators to empower students with the knowledge that this type of behavior is unacceptable. It is vital to work to establish a positive, supportive school culture for the emotional well-being ...view middle of the document...
After one instance where Amanda was beaten up by several girls, she attempted to commit suicide by swallowing bleach.
She and her family moved to a different city and she began attending a new school. Amanda attempted to work through her depression by agreeing to go to counseling and taking anti-depressants. Unfortunately this had little to no effect on Amanda. In a YouTube video published almost a month before her death, Amanda related her story using notecards. In the video she shares her struggle to stay alive and how she hoped she would be an inspiration for others in similar situations.
After the news about Amanda Todd’s death was revealed this past Thursday, many of her former classmates were “glad” she was dead. They posted malicious responses on her Facebook remembrance wall including a picture of bleach and her topless photo. This highlights that bullying is engrained in the student culture and presents a major challenge to remedy.
In an article written a day after the death of Amanda Todd, the principal of CABE high school, Paul McNaughton, stated she was well connected with the faculty and students. McNaughton went on to point out that after a certain point there is only so much you can do (Culbert and Gillian).
There are generally a number of contributing factors that lead to a person’s decision to commit suicide. In Amanda’s case, she was more prone to suicidal behavior since she experienced bullying regularly. The constant harassment on and offline caused her to lose self-respect, esteem, and dignity. It caused her to have anxiety attacks and sent her into a major depression. It increased the level of self-abuse too; she began cutting herself, abusing drugs and alcohol, and had a failed suicide attempt and unfortunately a successful one
Adolescents are egocentric and generally more concerned with their own needs than trying to empathize with others. It might have been difficult for Amanda’s peers to look outside of themselves out of fear that they could be rejected from the group.
Many teenagers can experience a great deal of emotional difficulty ranging from violent behaviors, drugs, poor grades, auto accidents, and relationship problems (Rathus). Psychologist G. Stanley Hall referred to adolescence as a time of storm and stress.
Bullies often have a negative self -image that they are projecting onto their victim. They have higher risks of delinquency, substance abuse and psychological problems. Female students involved in bullying as a victim, suppressor, or both have higher rates of suicidal thoughts and patterns (Cowan, and Richardson). Bullies display this sort of behavior because they are longing for attention or affection and they may not know how to express their needs in another way (Pappas). Social psychologist, Dr. Brenda Morrison describes Amanda’s case as a consequence where people consider bullying to be an institutional problem instead of a communal problem (Harris). If the problem is...