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

Ashley McIntyre, 16, Family Blames Bullying in Suicide Death

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According the WBOY, a news outlet in West Virginia:

Ashley McIntyre, 16, was hanging out with friends at home Friday night, before she disappeared.

Ashley was later found, dead by suicide.  Friends and family alike say that bullying was a contributing factor.  The Liberty High school Prevention Resource Officer, Mike Daugherty, didn’t rule out the possibility that bullying played a role while also adding that…”he said he worked hard to eliminate bullying at Liberty.”  School Board President, Mike Queen, also is on record as saying he’s heard that bullying is to blame.

Conversely, Ashley’s family has said that she never said anything about being bullied, adding that she often kept to herself.  If she was being bullied, only her friends would’ve known…those who were with her in school and were able to witness it.  Apparently, she never talked to anyone about it.  Added PRO, Mike Daugherty:

Statistics show that 90% of teens who are being picked on or bullied, they don’t report it. They don’t report it to an adult, they don’t report it to a parent, they just sit in silence. Although they haven’t proven it to be bullying as of yet, we still see a lot of people wearing the pink shirts, supporting, saying that they’re not going to stand for bullying anymore

If Ashley was indeed being bullied, she kept it to herself…tried to deal with it on her own.  And, if that’s the case, it cost her her life.  Regrettably, far too many young people opt to keep it to themselves, for whatever reason.  In some cases, they fear telling someone about being bullied will only make things worse.  In truth, in some cases, that’s been proven to be correct.  In still other cases, they don’t report it because they’ve come to the realization, real or imagined, that nothing will be done about it.  Either way, we’ve created a culture where the bullied feels isolated.  My own surrogate son, Marty, was bullied badly when he was high school.  When asked if he ever reported it, his response was similar to what I’ve heard and read many times before:

After making several attempts to report my own bullying, I soon realized it became useless because they don’t take it seriously.  They always take the “kiss and make up” approach.  Another thing is I don’t really think they care.  They get to go home everyday to their families.  They have a passion to teach; they don’t have a passion resolve conflicts, unfortunately.

As adults, as school administrators, and in some cases, even as parents, we are failing today’s youth.  We are failing the ones who need us most, at the time they need us most.  It’s easy to say “how can we help if they don’t let us know what’s going on?”   However, to look at it from their perspective, we have failed to provide them an environment where they feel comfortable telling “us” that they’ve been or are being bullied; we’ve also failed them by creating an environment where they feel that telling “us” doesn’t do any good.  Marty’s words are echoed many, many times by far too many other young people who are bullied or are being bullied.  We send the message out, daily, that “if you’re being bullied, tell someone”, then, somehow, we drop the ball.  In this case, dropping the ball is costing lives.

Ashley’s mother, along with the rest of her family and friends, are now left with a lifetime of trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.  The void will never be filled.  Our sincerest condolences go to the family and friends of 16-year-old Ashley McIntyre.  May you rest in peace.

Thursday, the day of her funeral, I encourage everyone who reads this to wear a purple ribbon.  Wear it in Ashley’s honor.  Wear it for the teenaged suicide victims who came before her.  Wear it because this is Suicide Prevention Month Worldwide, and we must start doing a much better job at trying to prevent these tragic losses.

If you, or anyone you know, is “at-risk”, please talk to someone.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!  There is ALWAYS someone ready and willing to talk to you when you need it most: 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Enough is Enough: the blog page

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5 Responses

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  1. Unfortunately,as I have found talking may help in suicide prevention but it does nothing to resolve the bullying. I can not help anyone else with a bullying problem when at 52, I can not resolve my own. These higher up in the chain of command do not want to be made aware of the problem and have to resolve it. If you are a longtime employee , never had any problems that cost the employer but suddenly have a problem with a newer person in the company in management. They not only show you the door but make sure you will not be able to support your family…Turning the other cheek,standing up for others,and believing the phrase what would Jesus Do? has almost killed me The Last 2 yrs have been a living Hell and yet I Must act as everything is Great.

    Please let me be Human,not perfect,just human !

    September 6, 2012 at 12:19 am

  2. After trying to resolve being bullied the “tell, parental intervention, & mediation” my niece had to change schools. Nothing had worked except that.

    Amy

    September 6, 2012 at 1:00 am

  3. te veel dierbaren verloren door kanker maar myn broer en nichtje door zelfdoding en dat is zwaar om het te verwerken en veel moeilyker !

    mary wagensveld

    September 7, 2012 at 12:38 am

  4. Bullying had been seen as a rite of passage by some for many many years. Truth is bullying is not a rite of passage and it harms children even to death. I grew up being bullied in both middle and high schools. What causes one child to bully another? What give them the right to inflict pain, physical and emotional onto another child?
    Please please talk with someone you can trust if you are being bullied. There is help and taking your life, if that is something you are seriously thinking about, is Not an option. You are Beautiful, Courageous, Strong and Loved more than you know~

    Phoenyx

    September 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

  5. It probably was bullying my daughter went there and she was bullied and just left school.

    angie

    October 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm


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