PSYCHOLOGY

15-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide Because Of Cyber Bullying. Parents Blame School For Doing Nothing To Prevent This Tragedy

Date November 2, 2018 18:00

Today’s society has lots of problems, and bullying is arguably the most important one. Why do we think so? Mainly, because of the horrifying statistics. Bullying occurs inside nearly every school community. The rates vary depending on the different studies and states. Yet, in general, nearly one-third of students have been bullied at least once. With that being said, more than 70% of witnesses remain passive and do nothing during the incident. The situation with cyber bullying is even more dangerous, as the bullies can hide their identity and harass the victims 24/7.

15-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide Because Of Cyber Bullying. Parents Blame School For Doing Nothing To Prevent This TragedySuzanne Tucker / Shutterstock.com

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What is cyber bullying?

Cyber bullying is a modern form of bullying which is carried out through technological devices, such as laptops, smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. It is important to mention right away: social pressure is much higher due to the development of these technologies. Your social life is online and depends on whether someone likes and dislikes your profile picture or status. Many psychologists believe it can be too hard for some children’s psyche and nervous system.

Differences between cyber bullying and other traditional bullying forms:

  1. Cyber bullying happens 24/7.
  2. Wider audience and more bullies than in a relatively small school environment.
  3. Availability of evidence – you can take a screenshot and provide it to police or other authorities.
  4. Bullies can hide their identity.
  5. It is often impossible to see the reaction of the victim, so the bully may not understand the devastating consequences of their actions.

How is cyber bullying real?

If you think cyber bullying isn`t real, keep in mind that the virtual reality has now become almost as important as the real life for our children. Therefore, cyber bullying can pose an extreme threat. This form of bullying includes:

  • malicious texts, emails, posts, images and videos;
  • using someone’s log-in;
  • excluding someone online to degrade.

15-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide Because Of Cyber Bullying. Parents Blame School For Doing Nothing To Prevent This TragedyTero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.com

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Horrible consequences of cyber bullying: Tronerud heartbreaking story

Connor Tronerud wasn’t a social media type of a person, according to his mother, Teresa Tronerud. The 15-year-old boy wasn’t texting much, though he did have a lot of friends. The boy decided to commit suicide due to immense cyber bullying. How did this happen and who’s to blame for such tragedy? Teresa accuses the school authorities of doing more to protect the bullies than her son.

Connor and his older brother, Kyle, both attended Marianapolis prep school in Connecticut. Reportedly, the former one contacted the school’s adviser and asked to remove the summer camp photos of him from the Facebook page, as Connor stated he “… bullied using the pictures.” Of course, Teresa noticed an unusually huge number of texts Connor was starting to receive. So the parents met with the school officials and came up with a plan, where they would check on Connor, have conversations, and follow up the phone numbers. Later, it became known via Connor’s friend that he was harming himself and expressing thoughts of committing suicide. Unfortunately, no one prevented the tragedy in December, 2017. And up until this day, the parents don’t have the answers.

The mother states that the plan that had been put into place was not executed: Connor wasn’t monitored, the phone numbers weren’t traced, nobody watched Connor when he was with his classmates, etc. There isn’t any documentation or evidence of the school authorities taking actions to prevent bullying. However, the school did state that they had addressed the issue and done everything they could. The school officials also said that “Connor was a very private person and didn’t reveal the extent to which he was struggling.”

Cyber bullying: facts and statistics

The tragedies similar to the Tronerud family’s one happen way too often across the country. The statistics regarding cyber bullying is not comforting at all:

  1. More than 15% of high school students are bullied online in comparison to 20% of those who are bullied on school property.
  2. Around 24% of middle school students are cyberbullied, whereas 45% are bullied at school.
  3. When it comes to cyber bullying, the most important thing is dynamics. In 2007, there were only around 18% of people who have been bullied online. Unfortunately, the number of victims of cyber bullying rose to 34% in 2016.
  4. Also, it is important to understand that the bullies can hide their identity. Therefore, only about 40% of the victims identify the perpetrator.
  5. Answering the question “how cyber bullying is real,” only 7% of parents are worried about cyber bullying. However, if you aren’t aware of something, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
  6. What are the consequences of cyber bullying? Basically, they are absolutely the same as when dealing with the other traditional forms of bullying: depression, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, etc. The situation can quickly go out of control, so it is important be in touch with your children.

15-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide Because Of Cyber Bullying. Parents Blame School For Doing Nothing To Prevent This TragedyAntonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

There’s one simple advice that applies to any form of bullying: talk to your children more. You can recognize the issue only with the help of open communications based on trust. Let’s raise awareness about the types of bullying and prevent such horrible tragedies from happening!

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