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Thirty documented bullycides – when is it “enough?”

November 8, 2010

So, over the weekend, on the heels of “celebrating” what would have been Christian Taylor’s 17th birthday, came news of another tragedy.  Cassidy Andel, a 16 years old at Griggs County Central High School near Bismarck, ND, committed suicide last week. Early indicators show this was a case of cyberbullying.

So, that brings the body count to 30.  Thirty documented cases of bullying suicides in the last 7 weeks. And those are only the ones we know about.  I suspect there are many more.

Reading the news sucked the life out of me this weekend.  I guess I should be a little less emotional about it — after all, my entire business is about preventing tragedy, but that means that tragedy has to exist in order for it to need preventing.

But what’s hard is the “reaction” to these incidents.  People at the school are already scrambling to put better cyberbullying task forces in place. They plan to put up posters and to wear blue wristbands as a sign of safety. Good…awareness is good. But, it is a largely helpless response; posters and wristbands matter little to people who think it’s ok or even good sport to taunt, harass, or humiliate other people whether in person or through technology.

We need to solve this problem at its source and again, as typical, I see little movement in that direction.

As an indicator of how pressing this topic is becoming, the volume of requests to have me speak at schools has increased dramatically in the last few weeks, even. I am pleased and happy to do it, but I make a point of saying “while this is good and you’ll learn  , there MUST be more.” No “one-time” shot is going to cure this disease.  I may be able to share some very life-changing information about the causes and effects of bullying, what we’ve been doing, how well it does (or doesn’t) work, and what will make a difference. But, at the end of the day, it’s what we do with that info that actually makes the difference.  Don’t just listen — take action.  Do more than absorb the information, transform that learning into doing. And, really investigate what is effective, because so much time, money and energy is being wasted on things that have been proven over time to make little-to-no difference.

As Mark Mason of the Mark & Dave Show asked me last week during the nearly hour-long live interview in the KEX 1190 studio asked me “do you ever get depressed.”  Well, yes, Mark, I do. I get depressed when I get so many calls during the interview of stories of children being bullied. I get depressed when I hear of another young life ended.  I get depressed when people’s responses are about putting up posters or enacting another law…because we know those things don’t stop the bullies.

But, I have to believe that there will come a time where people ask the next logical question: if THIS doesn’t work, what else can we do? And, then, as now, I stand ready to help. In the meantime, more schools are seeing that pro-social skills education is the ticket to solving bullying in their schools and fix a bunch of other issues too.  We’re not at the Tipping Point yet..but I have got to believe that day will come.

I hope Kevin Jennings is keeping track of the bodies and will soon come to that point where he’s asking that important question, too.  When you’re ready, Mr. Deputy Secretary, we’ll be waiting on the callback your office still owes us:425 485 4089 for your convenience. Let’s save some lives together, shall we?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2010 4:18 pm

    Oh I made sure Corrine he got the news but yet I got an automated out of the office response, WHEN IS HE IN ??????

  2. November 10, 2010 6:01 pm

    Together we can reduce the number of bullying incidents and bullycide worldwide.

    After 23 years in juvenile court, I believe that teenagers learn from the experiences of their peers, not just from being lectured by those in authority. Consequently, “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” was published in January, 2010.

    Endorsed by Dr. Phil on April 8, 2010 [“Bullied to Death” show], “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” presents real cases of teens in trouble over their online and cell phone activities.

    Civil & criminal sanctions have been imposed on teens over their emails, blogs, text and IM messages, Facebook entries and more. TCI is interactive and promotes education & awareness so that our youth will begin to “Think B4 U Click.”

    Thanks for looking at “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” on http://www.freespirit.com [publisher] or on http://www.askthejudge.info [a free website for & about teens and the law].

    Respectfully, -Judge Tom.

  3. November 10, 2010 7:56 pm

    REALLY? OMG Dude my son was NOT cyberbullied while the punks who bullied my son TALKED about it they never GOT his FB page……..it is about ignorance….not anything else……
    CHRISTIAN TAYLORS MOTHER!

  4. Sue permalink
    December 11, 2010 4:20 pm

    What are the names of the 30 kids who bullycided in the last 7 weeks?

    • Corinne Gregory permalink*
      December 12, 2010 11:07 am

      Sue, we have a copy of a document that has been prepared and maintained by several people who are tracking these bullying suicides. It was last updated at the end of November. It’s not “guaranteed” to be comprehensive, but it is very long…sadly. Victims are listed roughly alphabetical by first name. You can find the document here on our website and I’ll try to keep it updated as I hear changes: http://www.socialsmarts.com/BullyingSuicideListasof11282010.rtf

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