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

Courtney Walker, 14, Bullying-related Suicide

with 4 comments


It won’t be a Happy Thanksgiving in the Walker home this year and, quite possibly, for years to come.  Instead, the Thanksgiving holidays will always be attached to memories of 14-year-old Courtney Walker ending her life on Tuesday, November 13th, reportedly because of being bullied.Courtney’s mother says that she “…saw the warning signs, but she didn’t think they would result in suicide.”  Apparently, Courtney had spoken with her mother “…about a couple of “run-ins” she’d had with a couple of girls at school, but she didn’t say that she was being bullied.”  Describing her daughter as “funny and smart”, Shawn Walker added:

“I talked to her about it and she just laughed like it was a joke,” Walker said. “So we thought she was doing it for attention.”

And, of course, the local law enforcement agency says their investigation, so far, has not found any evidence of bullying.

No evidence of bullying.  That’s beginning to sound like a sick punchline to a morbid, grotesque joke.  The problem, of course, is this is no laughing matter.  A 14-year-old girl is dead.  Her mother says it was brought on from being bullied!  What more evidence do you need?  Once again, the question is what exactly constitutes “evidence of bullying”?  What are they looking for, exactly?  From talking to several family members of young people who have committed suicide already due to being bullied, I can tell you that question is worn thin.  The fact that no one in “official” positions seem capable, or even willing, to do something meaningful that would start making a difference has also played out.  It’s time for answers and results.  Nothing short of that will do.

What, exactly, IS bullying?  How do we define it in terms that would disallow these school and police officials to hide behind the wall of “…no evidence of bullying was found”?  Perhaps being able to answer those two questions would pave the way to stemming this tide of bullying and teen suicides.  Does there need to be physical evidence of bullying?  Would that make their jobs easier?  Does teasing, name-calling, harassing, excluding, or taunting not count as bullying?  Of course it does.  How do you find evidence of that?  And, since it is nearly impossible to find evidence of that, why isn’t the word-of-mouth of people who are or were close to the situation sufficient enough “evidence” for these “officials” to act?  There are just far too many families left with these, and more!, unanswered questions.  Another name is added to the ever-growing list every single day.

My own question to these “officials” would be “do you have children?  And, if yes, how would you expect your child’s situation to be handled if (s)he were being bullied?”  I’ll tell you what you would expect.  You would expect swift and decisive action.  You’d want to make sure that the person(s) doing the bullying was held accountable for their actions.  You’d demand that the school administrators did every single thing in their power to assure your child’s safety and well-being while they were at school.  Most of all, you’d want to make sure that your child was no longer at risk of ending his/her life because of unanswered cries for help from being bullied.  That’s what you’d want.  Why you can’t grasp that that’s what every parent wants is beyond me.  You “officials” aren’t reacting the way you’d expect your own child’s situation to be reacted to.  And, because of that, the cycle continues.  It’s preventable.  One-hundred percent preventable.  What’s needed in order to prevent this from continuing to happen is to become much more proactive rather than reactive.  We can stop this heartbreaking trend.  We can…and, we must.Courtney Walker was a beautiful, “funny and smart” 14-year-old girl.  She should be gearing up for the holiday season with her family right now.  How we, as a society, are continuing to let this happen is mind-boggling to me.

Rest in peace, Courtney.

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4 Responses

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  1. All you poor babies, I wish i was there to talk to you or ease your pain. Most of all find a solution for you. this just breaks my heart. Teachers and Principal and others adults need to get in there with the children and help!

    Susan

    November 23, 2012 at 6:26 am

  2. This bullying is appauling and a horrible fact of life. There is always going to be bullies, the people in the middle and the victims or scapegoats. It is hard for LEO ( law enforcement officers) to prove that a single thing that was said in the “bullying” was in direct corelation that caused the person(s) to kill themselves. Along with that I also believe that it is not a new epidemic of bullying. Years ago we did not have fb, tumblr, Twitter or other social networks including the internet. With these new tools we find out about a suicide in a small town in Alaska, then a day later we get the same news from a small town or large city in Pennsylvania. So now it is easier to find out and keep track of these atrocious acts. I hope you all understand what I am saying, I compely disagree with bullying but I believe its always been there. The internet and new social sites and tools let everyone keep track of the whole U.S and what is going on all over.

    Rick Ealing

    November 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

  3. This parent has written the smartest thing I’ve ever read. When I go to the school about my child who has left a suicide note at age 11 on his Xbox, I get the school officials dismissing it and getting defensive. I love that this parent who just lost their child, which absolutely breaks my heart, needs to become proactive and less defensive about their positions! How about doing their jobs and caring for the children the way they say they are going to.

    Michelle Murphy

    November 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

  4. not all bullying happens in school or by kids sometimes its by the people who are supposed to love the child.

    anonymous

    March 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm


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