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[OPINION] Bully-cide: How Do We Shut Down This Escape Route?

AURORA, Colo. (FNN NEWS) – Phoebe Prince (2010), Jadin Bell (2013), Rehtaeh Parsons (2013), Katelyn Davis (2016), Gabriel Taye (2016), Brandy Vela (2016) and just recently Ashawnty Davis (2017) all have something in common. They are all victims of a growing concern called “bully-cide”–the decision to commit suicide as a result of bullying. Ashawnty Davis was a 10-year old fifth grader in Aurora, Colorado who died Wednesday after being removed from life-support after hanging herself in a closet at her family’s home.

According to Ashawnty’s parents she had been bullied by other students at Sunrise Elementary school. She apparently confronted the person that was bullying her and a fight started. She was beaten up and the fight was recorded and posted on social media platform Musical.ly. Once she returned to school after the video was released, she endured even more bullying and teasing from other students. Devastated and embarrassed, Ashawnty hung herself two weeks later. Her mother found her.

Blaming the video as the cause, her parents also hold the school administrators responsible and believe that they could have done more to stop the bullying. The school claims there were no reports from anyone that mentioned any bullying and were made aware of the situation after the fight had taken place and the video was posted.

Parents feel that the schools are not doing enough to help put an end to bullying. For too long this has been the common scenario. In Ashawnty’s case, the fight happened at school, but after hours.

In a case like this, who is to blame? The parents say it happens at school but the school is closed. Many times the problem starts at school but ends up somewhere else.

Adults in government and society have to find a better solution than continuing to allow our children to make a preferred but terrible choice such as bully-cide in order to escape.

Parents have to have a constant talk with their kids even when there is nothing wrong. This would begin to drive options or a better solution before things get out of hand. Schools have to do the same. Get resource officers involved and informed.

Parents, don’t wait until there is a problem and don’t assume that your children will automatically come talk to you. Start now. If you have a teen or school age child is it important enough for you to engage and prepare?

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Jim Randle is a contributor for Florida National News. | social@floridanationalnews.com

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