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IVN Co-Publisher’s Pen

Ta Lese Shaterra / IVN Co-Publisher | 5/17/2017, noon

Ta Lese Shatterra

Ta Lese Shatterra

Greetings Readers, Friends, and Followers:

Upland, CA--My heart has been grieved since hearing of the 8-year-old who committed suicide as a result of being bullied in school. Bullying, though having always been an issue in school has really taken on new heights since the introduction of social media and is continuing to be a major problem for students across the world.

What makes this incident so incredible disheartening is that it has been reported that the school officials were aware of what was going on, they were aware of the incident where he was beat to an unconscious state and yet failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure that this kind of behavior did not continue. Though it would be easy to place blame and point the finger for who was at fault, it’s more important to work through this situation with the intention of finding ways to prevent these kinds of things from happening in the future.

In another instance, some time ago where 15-year-old Canadian high schooler Amanda Todd became so overwhelmed by the bullying that resulted from a personal photo being leaked online that she made the decision to take her own life as if it was the only viable option to having to continue to face those who were teasing and taunting her. Then there was Angel Green who was tormented by a group of bullies that was so severe that she hung herself from a tree next to her school bus stop so that her bullies could see her in the morning. There was also the suicide of Rebecca Sedwick, who jumped to her death from atop a cement silo because of harassment with some other girls over a boy. We say the names of Izzy Dix, Cora DeLille, and several others who are suffering in silence without any hope in sight. This has to stop! I am tired of reading names as hashtags because of our loss of humanity and the value of human life. There should be decency given to all human beings if for no other reason than the fact that we all bleed the same.

Here are some Statistics on Bullying the Students of Color:

-24.7% of African-American students, 17.2% of Hispanic students, and 9% of Asian student’s report being bullied at school

-More than one third of adolescents reporting bullying report bias-based school bullying Bias-based

-Bullying is more strongly associated with compromised health than general bullying Race-related

-Bullying is significantly associated with negative emotional and physical health effects

Here are some signs of bullying:

  • Displaying signs of depression and ongoing sadness

  • Withdrawing from others

  • Lack of interest in their favorite activities

  • Trouble sleeping or eating

  • Lack of engaging in conversations and/or spending an unusual amount of time being alone (especially if it’s not a part of their normal behavior)

  • Substance abuse

  • Self-injury

  • Reckless behavior

  • Comments regarding death or not wanting to be alive

Here are some things that we can do to help prevent these things from happening: