Since Pheobe Prince’s suicide in 2010 more attention has been focused on teen suicide, but hers was not the first, not the last, and was sadly only one face among many. According to bullyingstatistics.org:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year... For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
- Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.
- 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide.
- According to… ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.*
Fuck you. Fix it.
FIX IT. And perhaps one of the ways we can fix it is by leading with much better examples. Some of the same adults preaching the pathetic “it gets better” lie are bullies, themselves, or celebrate bullying. If you don’t think that’s you, ask yourself the following:
- Do you listen to trash-talk radio?
- Do you condone the crass, tactless, misogynist, racist, or hate-encouraging commentaries put forth by Rush Limbaugh, Kathy Griffin, Anne Coulter, or Bill Maher?
- Do you laugh when people like Chelsea Handler and Joy Behar make cruel jokes, hiding behind “it was a joke” as an excuse?
- Do you laugh at fat jokes, anorexia jokes, jibes at personal appearance?
- Do you watch fashion shows in which the panel ridicules others?
Maybe if we want kids to genuinely believe things “get better” we should stop spitting out empty words and prove it. Maybe we need to MAKE IT BETTER. Lead by example. Intervene and make an actual difference in our schools.
It doesn’t always get better. Sometimes it gets so bad young lives end. We need to stop lying, take responsibility, and DO SOMETHING.