Bullying at School Linked to More Child Suicides
Anybody who says that bullying is on the decline might want to seriously reconsider those sentiments.
This past week alone, the suicides of two young children have made headlines in the news—and both have been linked to bullying at schools.
Although his death occurred in late January, the Washington Post reports that eight-year old Gabriel Taye from Cincinnati, Ohio, had been knocked to the floor and rendered unconscious at Carson Elementary School two days before he hung himself with his own neckties in his bedroom. This was revealed in a surveillance video that school officials recently released (note: this video contains graphic content).
There are a number of reasons why the above video is so disheartening. The average eight-year old does not just fall to the ground after shaking hands with a student (which is what the video shows). The fact that multiple students are standing over a helpless, unconscious child, seemingly showing complete apathy and doing nothing to help him is quite disturbing. Moreover, the fact that this video was only released because a county coroner told an Ohio radio station that Gabriel’s death was going to be reinvestigated, does not portray the Cincinnati Public School System in a positive light by any means.
This was reiterated by Cincinnati Police Detective Eric Karaguleff, who emailed the school after viewing the footage in January.
“I witnessed behavior that in my belief is bullying and could even rise to the level of criminal assault, but due to the apparent age of the children involved, my current opinion is it could be better dealt with appropriately at the school level,” he said in the email.
Bullying also reared its ugly head again last week in Philadelphia, when 10-year-old Malik Kelly took his life by hanging himself in his bedroom closet. Malik’s mother, Tynisha Kelly, told 6ABC news that her son left a suicide note in his bedroom with a list of names of the kids who caused him harm.
“He wrote names. ‘You’re why,'” said Kelly.
Malik Kelly’s school is cooperating with the Philadelphia authorities, and his mother insists that parents should talk to their children about bullying, before another young life is lost to this epidemic.
“Talk to your kids, let them know that bullying and picking on is not cool, and if they are being bullied open up, don’t hold that stuff in.”
Gabriel Taye and Malik Kelly will never grow up to live a happy and healthy life, because those students who made their lives unbearable to live have never been taught simple lessons of kindness and decency. These two tragic examples of lives lost prove that the bullying epidemic is still out in full force.