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

Bradley Chisholm, 16, Death by Suicide

with 10 comments


Last week was brutal.  The world said goodbye to three more young people at the hands of suicide.  And, that’s three that I know of.  Of the three, two were reportedly because of, at least in part, bullying.  Sixteen year old Bradley Chisholm was one of the two.

 

Brad was a beautiful young man who had been bullied for most of his high school years.  I am not sure of all the details, but I know that one of the things he was bullied for was his weight.  He was bigger than most kids, but so was his personality.  He seemed happy in the lead up to this but was obviously really hurting inside.  His mates have been talking about some kid from the area.  Not sure if he was the one bullying Brad before his passing, but it sure sounds that way.

And, again the question arises:  how do we tackle the issue of bullying?  How many more young lives will it take before it’s taken for exactly what it is:  an escalating epidemic that’s costly lives and causing unnecessary grief for those left behind.  I’ve said before, but it bears repeating over and over until the point is clearly made:  if this were a virus killing kids at this rate, there would be an all-out assault on eradicating the disease.  If this were blatant violence, such as gun violence or stabbings, measures would be taken immediately to make it end.  And, of course, rightly so.  So, why is, then, that the senseless bully-related suicides are continuing to mount up.  Worse, why is it that all-too-often, the response seems to be read from the same, generic cue card:  “Our investigation hasn’t shown bullying to be an issue…”?  Sweeping the issue under the proverbial carpet is not, and will not, make it go away.

One of the issues in dealing with bullying, and the suicides that come from it, is that far too many victims of bullying opt for keeping it to themselves…keeping it in…until they end up taking irreversible, permanent action.  Perhaps that’s a good starting point:  teaching, and instilling!, in young people who they HAVE  to speak up; they HAVE to speak out; they HAVE to make sure their voices are being heard by people who will do something about it.  However, there’s a reason why so many prefer not talking about it as opposed to telling someone:  they’ve learned that little-to-nothing is done about it when they do tell someone.  It’s an issue that’s widely swept under the carpet, or minimized, to the point where they conclude that there’s no one who will help them…that their on their own.  That becomes too much for them to handle.  Then, sadly, we lose yet another one to a death that could’ve very easily been prevented.

On the facebook blog page, where people often tell their stories, one of the members just posted this:

I just want others to know that if you’re being bullied, please, don’t keep it to yourself. Find someone you trust and love, someone who can help, and tell them! Nobody can help if they don’t know. You may run into some stone walls when trying to find help, but don’t let that discourage you. Stay strong…

That is an absolute.  Instilling in these young people that there really IS someone “out there” who will listen, and do their best to intervene, it essential.  Getting them to keep talking until they find that person is imperative.  Being that person who will be there to listen and do whatever it takes to end the bullying they’re dealing with is crucial to lowering the suicide rate.  It’s just that simple.

To the family and friends of young Bradley Chisholm, we send our deepest, heartfelt sympathies.  May you rest in peace now, Bradley.

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10 Responses

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  1. This story breaks my heart. I was bullied most of my pre teens and teenage years due to my weight. There were many days I did not want to go to school or hang out with the few friends I had in fear of being bullied due to my weight. I wish kids as well as some adults understood how much words do hurt! I am now 32 yrs old and 155 lbs. Lighter than I was the day I graduated high school, however, that “fat girl” who was bullied is still in my heart and has never completely healed from the many years of emotional and mental abuse I suffered from my peers. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the family as well as all the children who are dealing and living the pain I had to endure. May God be with you all!

    Monica

    September 16, 2012 at 11:29 pm

  2. I don’t think this kind of pressure comes just from bullying at school. There is an attitude by advertising and -maybe well meaning family and friends – that they know what is better for you and demand you eat and act how they think you should. Anything different and you get labeled as a deficient person. Sound nutritional food is not available to everyone. Low and middle income families are forced to buy fatty foods. We are “The Brave New World ” and that is worse than “the ticky tacky houses that are all the same “.

    Kathy

    September 17, 2012 at 1:05 am

  3. I was bullied to the point that I was hospitalized due to other students physical actions on me. Hate is not born, it is learned…parents need to realize that the next time they call someone a “fat tub of lard” or a “faggot” because you never know when your child may be listening.

    Roy

    September 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

  4. Reblogged this on Queer Landia and commented:
    We need to do everything in our power as citizens to help prevent bullying or stop bullying and prevent suicide. It’s sad that we are losing so many young people to suicide because of bullying. If we just stand by and watch bullying and do nothing about it, it doesn’t make us any better than the person who is doing the bullying. STAND UP AGAINST BULLYING AND STAND UP AGAINST SUICIDE!!!

    pangirlbrit

    September 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

  5. I’ve been bullied a lot for being transgender. I have a lot of friends who accept me and if they get worried about me they take action and tell someone that someone else is bullying me. Most of the time I don’t say anything. That’s only because i know when people bully me they have issues of their own. They don’t like what they are because they’ve been tought it’s wrong and it’s not to be tolerated. I’ve been told by others that they respect me because i can go somewhere and look like what i want and not care about what other people think. I’ve learned that I can’t please everyone and that I have to do what i like otherwise what’s the point in living life only to try to get people to like me. No point right? Just because you’re a little bigger than other’s doesn’t mean their aren’t people that don’t care about you. There are a lot of people out there that get bullied for being to skinny.. Having big boobs.. Being too short for your age.. Having glasses.. Being a different race.. Being gay or lesbian.. and in my case being a transgender. Nobody is the same. We are all different. we all have our own opinions. Most of us have been tought by our parents that certain things are wrong.. Most of our parents don’t give us a chance to express who we are before they tell us that what they don’t like is what we are. I see parents disown children because they are gay or lesbian. I see parents say that their children are possessed because they like to dress up as a goth. But yet, we like doing things that are different. The people that are bullying others are obviously having trouble in their own lives and the only way to let out their anger is to bully others because they can’t stand up to their parents or the other people that are bullying them. Some of these bullies aren’t accepting themselves as who they are because to them people won’t like them if they weren’t “normal”.. It’s not fair to many people.

    Christopher Harris

    September 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

  6. Im mom in indiana please go to my website vote and let these kids be noticed . Let’s laws count vote http://www.bullyingforachange.com I do not want to add anymore names to my walk please help.

    Angie Stagge

    September 18, 2012 at 4:16 am

  7. […] Bradley Chisholm, 16, Death by Suicide (ronskemp.wordpress.com) […]

  8. Bradley was a friend of mine. it was so hard to accept the fact that he is gone. I moved away from Goulburn a year ago and hadn’t seen him since so i took it a little harder than everyone else.
    he was an amazing person, filled with life.
    R.I.P
    Bradley James! 🙂 xo ❤

    Mell

    October 21, 2012 at 9:20 am

  9. It sounds like Bradley was a great kid! It saddens me to hear that he was bullied for his weight. I had the same problem as a kid, though I was teased for being thin, short,quiet, Hispanic, and for wearing glasses. I was teased from kindergarten through my senior year in high school and even my freshman year in college. These bullies were relentless and I was too small to fight back, so I just took the pain for all of my childhood. I lived in silent pain. I never told my teachers because I was told throughout my childhood by schoolyard bullies that I was damaged goods, inferior, the scum of the earth, and a worthless Mexican that would never amount to anything. I was a walking timebomb ready to explode. After I was bullied as a freshman, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I fought back finally by buying a weight set and I worked out like a fanatic until I developed a strong, muscular build. My day of reckoning came when I saw a bully from my childhood a year later at a carnival. When he saw me from a distance, I gave him a cold, hard stare and I flexed my biceps. I saw fear in his eyes and he promptly walked away. In all honesty, it felt good to defeat a bully at his own game. I just had to show him some muscle to let him know that though he had bullied me as a kid, he would not continue to victimize me as an adult.

    I had reoccurring nightmares for years until I saw the value of forgiveness for the sake of my own health. I also learned to channel my anger by pursuing an athletic career in tournament arm wrestling. I became a 26-Time World Arm Wrestling Champion, a 10-Time United State National Champion, 27-Time California State Champion, and a winner of 128 titles right and left-handed. Needless to say, I beat many bullies in this arena at their own game. I even wrote a book recently to encourage victims of bullies that there is hope for them in learning how to fight back. The book is called “Armed For Battle and Destined For Glory” and available through Amazon.com and my website, Armed4Battle.com. My website has drawn over 1 million visitors in just 8 months, which shows a great need for bullying victims as well as victims of all kinds of tragedy. I will help these kids for the rest of my life in any way that I can, as I have also begun to do motivational speaking.

    I’ve been a school counselor now for 23 years and I help bullying victims by helping them to confront thugs in a conflict management session so they can learn how to empower themselves by learning how to be assertive. I do this so they can face their fears. I also encourage kids to empower themselves physically by beginning to work out to develop their bodies because bullies understand the language of strength. Though I don’t advocate fighting, I realize that sometimes kids don’t have any other choice but to fight when they are cornered. I can relate to this because I was jumped by 10 bullies when I was in 7th grade. Together we can defeat the bullies by staying united, speaking up, and developing a plan of action. I have written several articles lately on bullying, too, to help kids know what some of their options are. Feel free to visit my website and any website that helps victims of bullying. We all need to work together.

    Sincerely,

    Victor Torres/26-Time World Arm Wrestling Champion

    http://www.Armed4Battle.com

  10. Bradley chisholm was my cousion we where all hurt with his death it hurt all my family when we found it the whole community was hurt with brads death he was a popular kid and his funeral was huge even though brad use to came to my house and bugg me I still miss him he was a great cousion he had a awesome smile it lit up everybodys world it took time for people to accept brads death

    natalie chisholm

    October 5, 2013 at 7:19 am


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