The Pepper Bough

Cyberbullying is the third leading cause of death among youth; can we possibly prevent it?

Samantha Hernandez, Reporter

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Cyberbullying grows every day. It takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. It can happen at any time any place. It includes sharing negative comments that could be harmful, face or could be a mean comment about someone else. It could cause criminal behavior. Some people that are being cyberbullied can fall into depression, harm themselves and in worst cases, commit suicide.

The 2014-2015 school crime supplement shows that nationwide about 21% of 12-15 of students ages 12-18 experienced cyberbullying. The 2015 youth risk behavior surveillance system also shows that an estimated 16% of high school students were bullied. The statistics on bullying and suicide are extremely alarming. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people resulting in about 44,000 deaths per year. Three million kids per month are absent from school due to bullying.

On December 2nd, 2016 at 10 am, an 18-year-old teenager from Houston, Texas committed suicide because of cyberbullying. Her parents tried to stop her but she was so committed to doing what she did. She shot herself in the chest. She was receiving disturbing messages and people were creating fake Facebook pages of her. Cyberbullying is very dangerous.

Megan Meier struggled with attention deficit disorder and depression. She was receiving disturbing messages on social media. Another student told Megan “The world would be a better place without you.” Her other classmates began to follow through and started sending her to mean messages. The next day she hung herself in her bedroom closet. She was already insecure about her weight before she started getting cyberbullied. Her mother made a foundation for her the next week.

People do not understand how cyberbullying could be a big issue. Cyberbullying does not just hurt the victim. It also hurts that victims family once the victim starts to fall into depression, harms themselves and kill themselves. Cyber Bullying needs to be taken seriously. People need to realize it is not a joke.

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Cyberbullying is the third leading cause of death among youth; can we possibly prevent it?