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

Desa Bane, 15, Death by Suicide

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I was sent a haunting video tonight, made by one of Desa’s friends, chronicling her short life and wishing her farewell.  When I received the emailed video, I was still in the process of writing the previous blog post, about yet another young suicide victim.  For those who don’t understand, yet, we are in a crisis!!   This is an epidemic.

The video opens with a blackened screen and the written words:

Desa Bane was a beautiful girl.  Desa was the kind of girl who stepped up to solve your problems but kept her own to herself.  Desa was bullied by jealous girls who thought they were better.  Desa also had epilepsy.

Rest in Paradise, Des.  We love you.

<3333333

I’m certainly have no idea, at this point, how accurate or inaccurate the claim of being bullied is.  What I do know is that there is yet another young person whose family and friends are dealing with some of the worst pain they’ll ever have to endure.

What’s important, from my point-of-view, is that the number of teen suicides is growing daily, but rather than being able to hear about actions being down to address the epidemic on my car radio, I’m hearing about a medical outbreak that’s taking people’s lives.  I’m not minimizing the loss of life in that case by any stretch of the imagination.  And, to be sure, the pain that their families are feeling is every bit as real as the pain felt by the families and friends of these young suicide victims.  I get that.  My problem with this picture is that these teen suicides are

  • being kept relatively secret
  • not being given the urgency they need and deserve
  • being treated as if there’s a stigma attached

There’s no stigma attached:  there’s an epidemic in full-bloom that’s screaming to be addressed.  The issue of bullying, cyberbullying, and teen suicide needs to come out of the shadows, stopped being whispered about, and given the full, center-stage, blaring-spotlight attention it’s going to take to make it go away.  Waiting for someone else to step up and lead the charge isn’t the answer, either.  That’s seemingly what we’ve been doing all along, and we see almost daily how effective that’s been.

Here’s the deal:  Today is October 22nd, 2012.  It is 100% impossible for there to be a living, breathing human being, with even minimal comprehension level or intelligence, to not know that bullying is a crisis amongst today’s youth.  It’s contributing mightily to the teen suicide rate.  Parents know it.  Teachers know it.  School administrators know it.  And, the kids, themselves, know it!!  Therefore, with everyone knowing that we’re in crisis mode with the continued bullying and teen suicides, it wouldn’t take much of a leap to get the impression that there’s a general apathy towards the whole situation.  There are kids who still think it’s cool or funny to bully others in their peer group.  As we witnessed in the aftermath of Amanda Todd’s tragic suicide, even after the victim is dead, these heartless young people still find it cool or funny to continue their bullying.  They continue bullying at schools and online as if the last suicide didn’t matter to them at all.

On the other side of that same coin, we simply must figure out a way to convey to these young people who it is absolutely okay for them to find someone to talk to about their problems…whatever they may be.  In fact, it’s essential.  It could save their lives.  “Desa was the kind of girl who stepped up to solve your problems but kept her own to herself.”  Even if it’s only an online-type service, there is ALWAYS someone ready and willing to listen…and, help:

Obviously, there are even more resources available.  It’s beyond time we stop passively talking about how bad this epidemic is and start actively doing something about it.  This isn’t going to go away by itself.  It won’t go away if we collectively wait for someone else to be the one to step up.

To you, Desa Bane, may you now find peace.  To the family and friends of Desa, we send our deepest sympathy and support.

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3 Responses

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  1. how to contact ron kemp ?

    Catch Twenty-Two

    October 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm

  2. Why don’t people start to tell others the names of the bullies – let the world know the names and faces of those causing this grief

    Harold

    October 28, 2012 at 3:41 am


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