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Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

Jasmyn Smith, 11-years-old, Death by Suicide

with 27 comments


According to her family and friends, 11-year-old Jasmyn Smith had endured a year and a half of  being heavily bullied, both at school and online.  According to the school superintendent:

…he didn’t know of any bullying with Smith. But kids at the school say the bullying can be pretty bad.

“But, kids at the school say the bullying can be pretty bad.”  If “kids at the school…” are telling you this, why isn’t more being done to prevent it?  How is it that 11-year-old Jasmyn Smith can endure 18 months of bullying that was so intense, she felt the only way to make it stop was to end her life?  Sadly, the beat goes on.  Young people are being bullied daily, regularly – both at school, and at home through cyberbullying – and no one can figure out a solution that will help keep these young people alive.

There are some who advocate that bullying, in and of itself, DOES NOT lead to suicide, that it can be a contributing component that leads up to the suicide, that usually there are other, underlying issues that play into the actual event, such as mental health issues.  In fact, I’ve heard from several families and friends of recent suicide victims, ones that I’d written about in this blog, who vehemently denied that bullying was what led to the event.  From my own knowledge and experience, I know that the suicide that led me to get involved in this anti-bullying, teen suicide awareness/prevention campaign, that of Jamie Hubley, was one such case.  The media reported bullying as the cause.  However, I know with 100% certainty that that wasn’t the case.  He had, indeed, endured some bullying because of his sexuality.  However, it was depression that stole his life.

That said, bullying is still very much an issue.  Whether it directly causes a suicide, which it DOES in some cases, or whether it turns out to be the “straw that broke the camel’s back”, it’s a major issue.  It’s an issue that needs desperately to be handled swiftly and decisively.  Yet, year-after-year, suicide-after-suicide, we hear the same standardized cop-out lines from the people who should be making a difference.  People who CAN make a difference but, through their actions, are choosing not to.

Stories of the effects of bullying, including suicide, are in the news and online daily.  Literally.  Daily.  There is absolutely no way possible for anyone to NOT know this is going on in our society and damage it’s causing.  On the facebook blog page, there are stories daily about bullying and the effects.  With it being in the news and online, and more, how is it that it’s still going on to the point where an 11-year-old girl feels her only way out is to end her precious, young life?  Why isn’t more being done about the bullying issue?  Why aren’t school officials taking a much more PROactive stance against bullying?  Why are parents not teaching their children to not bully others?  How many lives is it going to take before this issue is given more than lip service?  Laws are on the books in some states, but that doesn’t matter.  Policies are in place in many school districts, but that doesn’t matter.  So, then, what is the answer?  In the home. Starting with the parents.  And, it has to start now.  Too many lives are being lost for this to NOT be a top priority for everyone.

Her very emotional Sunday School teacher said of Jasmyn:

She was the type of child that every parent would love to have.

I’m sure she was.  She was only 11-years-old.  Life had barely even begun for her.  Now, her family and friends must learn to live without her.  Rest in peace, Jasmyn Smith.

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27 Responses

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  1. RIP Child. this is another life too soon lost. My confusion comes with the bullying/depression debate. in my opinion, I see depression as a result of bullying. bullying leading to depression. Regardless of what is causing it, I stand up and keep praying for answers to help. More outreach to kids to let them know people will listen to them if not where they are? In the case of Kenneth Weishuhn jr 14, of Iowa, he appeared safe from this option. I knew what he went through and I did as much as I could have imagined doing. Had I known, I would have done so much more. My question, is WHAT CAN I DO? How can I reach out to these kids? How do we reach the kids that need reaching.

    Mindy Johnson

    August 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm

  2. This is so sad.

    awesomedawn

    August 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm

  3. That’s absolutely tragic. May she and her loved ones find peace. Bullying needs to end but remember things do get better!

    Dominique

    August 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

  4. What a beautiful child– I’m so sorry she didn’t have a chance to grow up.

    But I don’t think it’s fair to say that you are ‘100%’ certain that it was depression and not bullying that led to Jamie Hubely’s suicide.It’s not like the two things aren’t related.

    In my own life, the bullying I endured as a child contributed mightily to my depression, caused me to develop a mindset that I was not good enough, made me very self critical– self loathing, even– and remains my biggest challenge in my middle age.

    Sam D. Maloney

    August 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm

  5. Shocking, poor little girl, may she sleep with the angels, RIP Jasmyn..

    Paul King

    August 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm

  6. Sadly in most cases you can’t get help from the parents of kids who bully. Something is going on in the lives of children who feel the need to bully other children. Then they rally the weak and impressionable kids around them to join in so that they feel part of the group or won’t fall victim themselves. To ask these parents to step in and alleviate the problems their children are causing is pointless. They either don’t see the problem, don’t care, or don’t have the parenting skills to show they children how to conduct their behavior in a positive way. There is no simple straight forward answer that applies to all situations. However we can help our children by listening to them and being involved in their lives. If we see them having a problem we need to get involved before it gets to a critical point. We can”t lay the blame on educators, and they can’t do it all by themselves.

    JennH

    August 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    • Well the educators need to stop saying it’s tatleing if you do tell them your being bullied

      torrie

      October 4, 2014 at 4:45 am

  7. http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120811/NEWS/308110030/Fighting-against-suicides

    I wrote to to you in March about 4 students who committed suicide at PolyTech HS in Delaware. I attached the latest article, the numbers between Jan_May in Sussex and Kent Counties were actually much higher, alarmingly higher.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Jasmyn’s loved ones. This child never had a chance to live and now she’s gone.

    Why do you think so many parents are denying bullying is a cause in their childs suicide? I do understand depression, low self esteem, something was there before the bulling, but surely the bulling didn’t help. How can we get to the bottom of teen suicide when so many are in denial that bullying is a problem?

    Child Advocate

    August 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm

  8. Being relentlessly bullied can CAUSE depression, stress and low self-esteem. Schools are too chicken and parents too entitled to stop it. But it needs to stop!

    Mabel

    August 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    • Mabel, I mis spoke or in this case, mistyped. I realize severe bullying can cause depression. How can it not? I think there must be some level of low self esteem to accept the bullying instead of going to the parents or principal. It seems in many of these cases, few where the parent or school recognized there was a problem, and tried to help.

      My bf’s daughter was being severely bullied at her private school. This group of girls mocked her constantly. Her mother recognized she was either furious at everyone at home, or she would be sullen, keep to herself. She finally was able to get her daughter to tell her what was going on.

      My bf went to the school 14 times during one school year. The school claimed they were doing everything they could…they had her eat with her friends in the classroom or she sat with a teacher. That made it worse. Finally my bf pulled her out of the private school over winter break, her daughter stared public school after the break. Her daughter didn’t want to wait until fall, she wanted out asap. She was a completely different child after that! She is so happy! She has a lot of friends now. She just shines!

      Child Advocate

      August 31, 2012 at 5:30 am

      • Going to parents and/or the principal makes it worse, in most cases– just look how the private school chose to deal with it–eating with a teacher? Really? They might as well have put a target on that kid’s back.
        In a lot of cases, the bullies are the ones on the top of the pecking order in that year or school. Their parents are the ones who buy acceptance for their little “darling” through extra-curricular funding that cash-strapped schools need to survive. Their reach is pervasive–no kid is safe at school, or online at home. That is why kids who are bullied GET low self-esteem and depression– because it never stops–never.
        Bullying is no different from water-boarding; torture is torture. Bullies should be expelled, period. Let Mommy and Daddy deal with the self-indulgent, amoral, conscienceless monsters they are creating.

        Athena Stewart

        September 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

  9. Bullying is taught in the home. Punishing the children only makes them more likely to retaliate. That and those who bully usually do it as a group, and will stick up for each other. The only solution to bullying is to punish the guardians of bullies. Pull the bullies out of school, and send them to a boarding school on the parents dime. Give them a scholarship based upon behavior and grades. Make it peer reviewed.

    meetarealist

    August 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    • Meet,

      In my friends daughter’s case, the private school did not punish the bully. The “she” who was eating lunch in the classroom or with a teacher was the victim. The bully was never punished.

      I believe as you do, bullying is taught in the home.

      Child Advocate

      September 3, 2012 at 5:40 am

    • Send the bullies to boarding school? REALLY???? Do you have any clue what it is like at boarding school? Obviously not. Bullying at boarding schools is ten times worse than day-kids… day-kids can go home for some relief, at boarding school there is none. More bullies sent to boarding school and suicide in boarding schools will increase… sending kids away is like pushing the dirt under the carpet. You don’t send them away you work with the bullies. Bullies normally have issues of their own that lead them to be bullies as it makes them feel power and they like to focus on other people’s issues than their own.

      If we punish the guardians, they will just take it out on their kids, making the bully more angry… We need to make sure the bully changes their ways and does not pass this behavior onto their kids… stop the cycle! Not send it away!

      Joe

      September 3, 2012 at 6:09 am

  10. </3 😦 …,,shared.

    Bullying is for Losers

    September 3, 2012 at 3:40 am

  11. When a friend’s child was bullied last year at my daughter’s private school here in Georgia, the principal “handled” the problem by appeasing the bully’s parents, and harassing the bullied child and her mom until the victim withdrew from school.
    And the beat goes on…

    Kellie Mzik

    September 3, 2012 at 5:05 am

  12. This has to stop…us as parents…have to talk to our children daily…teachers are going to have to open there eyes and ears….this story breaks my heart….children need to know if they bully there is going to be in trouble …not just a slap on the rist….harder punishment…to many deaths…to young to die

    Tabitha Hayes

    September 3, 2012 at 6:28 am

  13. heartbreaking what a beautiful child We all must make an effort to stop bullying,if it is seen it must be stopped

    Kathy Callaghan

    September 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm

  14. Rest in peace jasmyn smith,bullyin must stop too many live have been lost because of this.the bully must stop and ask themselve’s if what they are doing is good or bad.

    Melissa moyo

    September 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

  15. I miss you Jazzy. It was so hard at the funeral and vigil for me. I still have my half of the necklace “cousins forever” .
    U looked beautiful in it. Fly High babygirl.
    I’ll see you later I promise.
    RIP Jasmyn ❤

    Hailey Villarreal

    September 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm

  16. The cause of depression in most cases is repressed feelings, including the biggest culprit anger. I’ll bet her depression was caused by the bullying and lack of solution. Bullying killed her because it was most likely the cause of her depression.

    Rose

    September 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm

  17. I knew Jasmyn because she would sometimes play with my kids and she was a sweet beautiful child. As outgoing and happy she “seemed”, I would’ve never known she was suffering. I talk to my kids daily about bullying and having to tell them that their playmate was dead because of it was the hardest thing I have ever done. My kids don’t get it or understand how and why other people are so mean to one another. We are still affected by her death and it is important that parents take and maintain an active role in their kids’ lives. This must end. Our children are leaving us way too soon. RIP Jasmin, we miss your smile and laughter.

    Affected Parent

    September 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm

  18. jazzy was my little cuzzo n thanks to everybody n der comments if u only knew jazzy n how she was sweet n kind i miss her so much

    azhnay

    September 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  19. Return if possible, BabyGirl.

    Erin Sheckard

    October 3, 2012 at 1:43 am

  20. Rest In Peace Jasmyn , I Love You Babygirl , Fly High ❤

    Deja Colon

    November 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm

  21. People needs to stop bullying . you just will make them take there lifes then it will come back on you. team jasmyn smith r.i.p baby girl. fly high.

    hailey brown

    April 22, 2013 at 4:23 am


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