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Facebook Comment Prompts Arrests In Cyberbullying Suicide Case 734

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-only-facebook-comments-prompted-proper-parenting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The NY Times reports on the arrests of two girls, ages 12 and 14, who allegedly harassed another 12-year-old girl who committed suicide. The girls are facing third-degree felony charges, and the police involvement was spurred by a comment on Facebook by the older of the two. 'In Internet shorthand it began "Yes, ik" — I know — "I bullied Rebecca nd she killed herself." The writer concluded that she didn't care, using an obscenity to make the point and a heart as a perverse flourish. Five weeks ago, Rebecca Ann Sedwick, a seventh grader in Lakeland in central Florida, jumped to her death from an abandoned cement factory silo after enduring a year, on and off, of face-to-face and online bullying. ... Brimming with outrage and incredulity, the sheriff said in a news conference on Tuesday that he was stunned by the older girl's Saturday Facebook posting. But he reserved his harshest words for the girl's parents for failing to monitor her behavior, after she had been questioned by the police, and for allowing her to keep her cellphone.'"
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Facebook Comment Prompts Arrests In Cyberbullying Suicide Case

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  • Yeah, right ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:16AM (#45141629) Homepage

    But he reserved his harshest words for the girl's parents for failing to monitor her behavior, after she had been questioned by the police, and for allowing her to keep her cellphone.

    Most parents can't or don't monitor what their kids do on the internet, and most parents are under the belief their child is a little angel who would never do something like this (or consider it to be 'normal' childhood stuff).

    I suspect most parents do not have the kind of control over their kids this sheriff thinks, and likely aren't that interested anyway.

    From what I've seen, most parents are either clueless or turn a blind eye to the fact that their kids are rotten little bastards.

  • Editors, please. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saei (3133199) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:17AM (#45141635)
    From TFA: "Both were charged with aggravated stalking." Not sure why this was omitted from the summary, and only the vague "third-degree felony charges" term used. Combined with the somewhat misleading title, implying that it was only facebook comments that got these girls in trouble, it's disappointing link-baiting.
  • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:22AM (#45141667)

    Not all children are like that, and many adults are themselves sociopaths.

    It's the parents who are at fault here.

    Hardly.

  • Re:Yeah, right ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by darrellg1 (969068) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:25AM (#45141689)
    Most parents expect others to parent their kids.

    FTFY
  • by barlevg (2111272) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:26AM (#45141693)
    I'm probably in the minority of slashdotters, but I have no problem with the government spying on my communications and seeing what porn I watch--the only problem I have is with how this information is used. Even then, if the government ever came to me and said, "Do this, or we tell the world about your [redacted] fetish," I'd respond, "Go ahead. And I'll tell the world about how you tried to blackmail me." Guess who'd be in more trouble?


    And yes, I do get off on looking at those blacked-out lines on partially de-classified documents. My horrible secret is now known.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:26AM (#45141703) Homepage

    ....a Early teen girl.

    And yes this is 100% fact, I raised my daughter though the hell that is Midddle school and high school, Satan himself is a nice guy compared to teenage girls and the heartless crap they do to others.

  • Re:Yeah, right ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:27AM (#45141713) Homepage

    "Most parents can't or don't monitor what their kids do on the internet, BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO LAZY"

    FTFY

  • by AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:31AM (#45141739)

    but I have no problem with the government spying on my communications and seeing what porn I watch

    Then you're ignorant about the importance of privacy.

    the only problem I have is with how this information is used.

    Given the sorts of governments we've seen throughout history, it would be foolish to believe that the information would not be abused.

  • Re:Yeah, right ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:31AM (#45141741)

    their kids are rotten little bastards

    Or, possibly, the parents are big rotten little bastards.

  • Rebecca's parents. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:33AM (#45141769)

    Bullying and the bullies actions were horrible.

    But this poor girl committed suicide because she was in despair. Meaning, she felt there was no other option.

    Why?

    Where were her parents to say, "Ignore them. They are trash. Delete the Facebook account."

    I would have gotten the kid to counseling or, and speaking as an atheist, I have to admit that many churches have wonderful youth programs that can be a wonderful benefit for kids like this - so if the family was church going, I would have done that too. (Religion does have some benefits - if you believe.)

    This kid didn't have any emotional or social support. If she had the family and friends to back her up, things would have been much different.

  • by BlacKSacrificE (1089327) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:38AM (#45141813)
    I feel this is a behavioral bump in the road that may disappear as my generation becomes the parental generation.

    I am 30 years old. I remember a pre-WWW world (I deliberately say WWW to differentiate from chats, BBS etc, which was largely inaccessible to all but the greasiest of geeks). I have grown with the technology, and know its potential and pitfalls. My parents however have no idea of either. They got all my hand-me-down computers, they appreciated my efforts to educate them. Because I was around fro the pre WWW, analogies were easy. I knew how the postal system worked, I could easily analogise POP mail etc. But they do not know the full potential. They look up their recipes, history of [subject] info, and IMDB pages, harass and embarrass me on fakebook, but they never really matured with the technology, and never had to suffer the pitfalls. It was just suddenly there, and they shat bricks, because it was like nothing they had ever seen, and they didn't understand the dynamics. They adapted, but never understood.

    I feel as my generation become the parents and out kids hit those preteen/teen years (maybe 10-15 years), the problems will go away, because we will be capable of not only being able to give good advice on troll evasion and shaming, but we will also be in a far better position to adequately monitor, and mentor, about what actually happens on the internet. We know what to look for, we know how to find it, and we know how to deal with it. Not all of my generation are savvy enough to do it, but a greater percentage of us are, as compared to the current crop of 40-50 year old who had this thrust on them by their kids demanding internet connections and fondletoys to use on them.

    I feel for that girl, and her parents who were blindsided by and lost a child to a technology they had to scramble to understand. I feel for the parents of the aggressors for not knowing just how serious the shit their kids were doing. I hope and feel that my generation will be more capable than them.
  • by landofcleve (1959610) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:39AM (#45141819)
    Transference of blame anybody?
  • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vermonter (2683811) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:41AM (#45141841)
    I blame the grandparents for raising the parents so poorly that they raised the daughter poorly.
  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wingsy (761354) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:42AM (#45141843)
    You obviously don't have children.

    Please take my advice: don't.
  • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:42AM (#45141859)

    Perhaps the internet should be regulated like Alcohol and Tobacco, where access is permitted only once a certain age of maturity has been reached.

    Not only would that be completely unenforceable, but it's also an awful, draconian idea.

    We've let them use the internet, and this "bullying" epidemic is what it has led up to.

    So you suggest that we punish everyone (in a certain group) because of some bullies and an imaginary epidemic. Not sure I agree.

  • Re: This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techprophet (1281752) <emallsonNO@SPAMarchlinux.us> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:43AM (#45141871) Journal
    All the parents involved bear responsibility for this travesty. The parents of the dead girl needed to be there to support her, while the parents of the bullies needed to pay enough fucking attention to see how cruel their daughters are. Cruelty is not easily hidden if you pay attention to how people act to each other. I see it far too often even on a college campus, though still far less than in high school.
  • Re:Yeah, right ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:48AM (#45141903) Homepage

    Don't have the kind of control? You mean they can't cancel the phone subscription? You mean they can't lock the kid in a room and take away the phone? You mean they can't beat the kid senseless? What?

    Well, no, they can't beat the kid senseless. Mommy and Daddy would have a nice visit from the cops if they did it, and the kids bloody well know that.

    Ever seen a parent negotiating with their child to try to get them to do something? One gets the distinct impression that a lot of kids wield a lot more power than their parents do, and the parents try very hard to beg, plead, or bribe their kids into doing something.

    I've seen a lot of parents who apparently can't control their 5 year old -- by the time those kids are teenagers I suspect those same parents have very little ability to control them.

    So, no, I'm not entirely convinced that the parents wield nearly as much authority as you believe.

  • Re: This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twon (46168) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [33nowt]> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:50AM (#45141917) Homepage

    I love how /. has truly grown up from being the "Voices From The Hellmouth" crowd to the "waaah, poor baby can't handle a little teasing" crowd. It's the classic "fuck you, got mine" but for advancing through life rather than up the income ladder. Where's the line for deserving sympathy, or even empathy? Does she have to shoot some classmates and THEN kill herself? Does she have to play video games first, and do people have to make that a public issue?

  • Re:Yeah, right ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gravitron 5000 (1621683) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:50AM (#45141919)
    ... and then get offended when anyone else tries to.
  • Re:This (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dogtanian (588974) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:52AM (#45141937) Homepage

    Children are sociopaths until they learn better / their frontal lobes finish developing. It's the parents who are at fault here.

    Two year olds are sociopaths. Fourteen year olds shouldn't be- they can sometimes be stereotypically *insensitive* due to their brains still developing, but that's absolutely nothing like this.

    The fact that she made comments like that even *after* the girl died (due to their bullying) indicates pure sociopathy. 14 (or even 12) is easily old enough to know right from wrong, whether or not they feel guilty about it. Regardless of whether the parents are to blame for not bringing them up with any sense of morality or empathy, they're easily old enough to accept (or made to accept) responsibility for what was done.

    The most appropriate outcome in this case would be for that girl's actions to be widely publicised and for her to be subjected to endless harassment, abuse and ostracism for the rest of her life, until she does the decent thing (*) and kills herself.

    (*) Albeit for purely selfish reasons- but you can't teach empathy.

  • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:52AM (#45141939)
    Oh, please, many kids (especially teenagers) would not even answer the direct questions from their parents about bullying and similar stuff. It is normal to just say "It's nothing, it's okay" and go cry in your room (and maybe even try to kill yourself), rather than sit and tell your story to your parents - even if they are truly caring and compassionate.

    People who are prone to the real suicide are much more quiet about it than some drama queens who are shouting "I'm going to kill myself!" several times a day. Well, the same thing with the real homicide, too - even as adults we are prone to exclamations like "I swear, I'm going to kill that guy!", but these exclamations do not correlate with the real murders so often, right?

    It is truly a challenge for any parent to admit that there is something wrong with their kid (not mentioning some crazy hypochondriacs and the like), be it a suicidal or sociopathical motives. In this particular case I personally would put more blame on the parents of the bullies, than on the parents of the victim. At least with sociopathy there are often other signs that are hard to miss, and often there is something wrong with the whole family - abusive or neglectful parents, for example, or some other emotional disfunction.
  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ErichTheRed (39327) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:06AM (#45142075)

    I'm noticing a lot of "waah, little baby can't handle a little teasing" posts. This is /. -- who wasn't mercilessly picked on in junior high/high school??

    I'm a new parent of two kids and am not looking forward to helping them navigate the new Facebook bullying world. One of them is a girl too, so I'm sure it's going to be worse for her. I think the bad thing about it is that those of us who really got a lot of abuse in school would be able to go home and tune it out. With cell phones, Facebook and all that stuff, you can't ever escape.

    One thing I do see a lot of lately is a backlash against PC and just being nice to people. Not being an ass isn't PC, it's just being a good human. Parents should teach their children this, but unfortunately no one is giving out parenting licenses (yet.) I think that would be a big help in solving the behavior problems of kids -- reining in their idiot parents. (And no, I'm no super genius parent, but watching typical 7 year olds having a screaming match with their parents complete with creative expletives makes me wonder whether I'm doing something right.

  • by Lithdren (605362) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:23AM (#45142199)

    Yes, lets rant about how prissy the 12 year old girl was for taking her own life. Because we all know 12 year olds (girl or boy) are capable of handling things like an adult should, in your perfect world.

  • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:25AM (#45142237)

    Instead of trying to arrest children for teasing each other parents need to pay attention to their kids.

    Teasing is not the same thing as relentless humiliation on a day to day basis.

    The girl is 14 fucking years old and doesn't give a shit if her actions potentially led this girl to suicide. If you don't think that failure is directly related to her parents choices then you are a fucking dolt. Normal people don't have this kind of emotional detachment to society, especially not at the age of 14.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:30AM (#45142285)

    "Now for a side rant. Suicide is a pussy way out. No one should commit suicide over the actions of another but if they feel compelled to give that other person that much power, they should take them out in the process. It would likely make the world a better place as a result of their cowardice."

    Let's hope this is the dumbest thing I see on the internet today

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:32AM (#45142319)

    Seems like the meaning of the word 'bully' has changed since I was a kid. I was bullied for real. Meaning I was beaten up, as in like physically punched and put in headlocks etc if I didn't obey every order of the bully and not disrespect him at all. Of course I was also teased. For having a big nose. For being fat. For being ugly. Etc. When did 'bully' become a synonym for 'tease'?

    I see a need to distinguish between physically beating someone into submission and just taunting or teasing them. We had two different words for a reason. Sticks and stones and actually breaking your bones is different from just calling someone names or saying bad things about them or to them. And yes I think physical violence is worse. Much worse. Physical violence vs. someone saying mean things to you? No comparison.

    Sorry, but I don't feel sorry for people who get teased. They're just words. Yes, people told me I had a big nose. Well guess what? I did have a fucking big nose! Saying that I do should not be some sort of crime.

    And telling me to kill myself should not be a crime either. What happened to freedom of speech? I guess people only want nice speech to be free. You people are just slaves at heart longing for a master to obey and seriously don't deserve *any* freedom.

    To those of you who want teasing to be a felony do yourself and everyone else a favor and go kill yourself. Please. You really will be doing everyone else on the planet a favor. It really is for the best. Trust me on this. I would suggest drowning maybe or hypothermia. Possibly an overdose of some opiate so you can die with a smile. Surely you must see that this really is for the best?

  • by Cryacin (657549) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:37AM (#45142383)
    I have to say, I was subjected to some of the most vicious onslaughts by my peers going through school. Luckily, my parents granted me with the mental fortitude and tools to survive. Not everyone can impart these skills to their children. It is not necessarily the parents fault, and certainly not the child's.

    However, I struggle with the concept that bullying someone amounts to a felony. We have some very skewed laws when bullying someone is equivalent to armed robbery, and deserves 5 years in Jail. (Florida)

    It is wrong, but it trivialises harder crimes.
  • Re:This (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0111 1110 (518466) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:51AM (#45142541)

    Well from what I understand the way to deal with bullies is to actually fight them. Were these two girls so much better fighters? This girl should have just kicked their asses and then no more bullying. Of course usually bullies pick on weaker victims they are confident they can best in a fight, but I haven't seen any evidence of that here. Even in those cases you can always just pull a knife and stab them a few times or just hit them in the face with a sharp rock. Problem solved. No one will ever fuck with you again after that. I was mercilessly bullied as a child, in the sense that I was beaten if I did not obey orders. I should have used a weapon to even the odds and told them to fuck off.

  • by StrangeBrew (769203) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:56AM (#45142585)
    Either you were a special child or you've forgotten how much your world has expanded since then. Whether you're talking about a 5 year old who has an absolute 'the world hates me' meltdown because he got buttered toast (like he asked for) instead of nutella (like he now wanted) or the teenager whose world is crumbling because a friend is moving away, they haven't experienced enough of life to understand how ridiculously small their problem is. This isn't even touching with those kids who do have serious problems such as being sexually abused or physically assaulted on a daily basis, with no knowledge of how else to escape their problems other than suicide... something being suggested to them by their tormentor, or accomplices, constantly. Try showing some empathy, and try teaching it to your kids.
  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:58AM (#45142601)

    What you need is counseling.

  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:07AM (#45142683)

    I blame the grandparents for raising the parents so poorly that they raised the daughter poorly.

    It's turtles all the way down! :-)

  • Re:Yeah, right ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheCRAIGGERS (909877) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:14AM (#45142731)

    Haha, I threatened to call the cops / child protection services on my Dad once. He simply said "Go ahead. I'll beat the shit out of you until they get here."

    Guess who won that standoff.

  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:23AM (#45142839)

    So you suggest that we punish everyone (in a certain group) because of some bullies and an imaginary epidemic.

    Just like we do with alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pot, and not buying overpriced health insurance. Can we all finally agree that it's wrong to have the government punish the innocent?

  • by kaizendojo (956951) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:47AM (#45143091)
    Absolutely the same story here (and there are probably a lot more on /. than would care to admit to it). I was bullied mercilessly, beat up, tormented on a daily basis. Honestly can say it was worse than what was described. The only two reasons I never went through with taking my own life at that age was: 1. It's a cowards way out that rewards the tormentors and punishes the ones that love you and that kept me going. 2. My Parents did their best to support me and convince me that the sociology of Jr High School was meaningless in the grand scheme of things and supported my efforts to find my voice (which I did in High School, first as a writer for the school newspaper and then as the lead singer in a rock band. Kids will ALWAYS be vicious bastards acting out like Lord of the Flies, and there is no amount of explanation that can satisfy you at that age. I was lucky enough that my Parents (who recently passed) were as involved as they were. I'm also lucky they lived long enough to see me become a successful business owner who sees many of my old bullies at the Gas Station or the Wal-Mart. You can't change these kids behavior institutionally or in a jail. You need to start at home injecting a moral code and respect for others.
  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:47AM (#45143095)

    It is wrong, but it trivialises harder crimes.

    Not if the punishment is commensurate with the harm caused. With regard to armed robbery, as long as that was the only offense, the impact of the crime is of relatively short duration. It is theft of property under threat of violence. Assuming you can get over being threatened with violence, it's just theft of property, and the impact of the loss of that property (assuming total loss) to an individual is really a minor impact in the overall lifetime of the individual. Bullying can be threats of violence against an individual (like armed robbery), except it also often involves continued harassement, literal violence, and an implication that the threats/violence/harassement will continue, day after day, with no real way out.

    Think of a kid who goes to school, maybe it is only once a week he is cornered and detained, physically attacked, perhaps robbed, and harassed. He lives in in a state of perpetual paranoia and emotional pain because he knows that it IS going to happen again, because it has happened many times before. Contrast that to someone mugging you on the street for your wallet. Frightening, maybe costly if you had much cash, and that moment might bother you for years to come.

    I've survived an attempted kidnapping (age 11), and I've also been bullied (Ages 7-13). With regard to the kidnapping attempt, I can remember that the guy had curly hair, and the general gist of his conversation, I remember curling up in fear after he fled. But that's about it, I never really worried that he might be back or that I'd be kidnapped again. Yet for the bullying, I can remember every single person who was involved, their actions, their names, their faces. I'll withold their names, but I remember the one who would secretly punch me whenever the teacher turned away. I remember the one who would attack me in the stairwells. I remember the one who threatened to cut me for defending myself from another bully (his cousin). I remember the general taunter in my 7th grade Literature class. I remember the one who would punch me in the back during 6th grade science class. I remember the group who would gather during recess and select a person for 'Random Beatdowns' which were a staple in my school until they finally broke a kid's arm. There are more, but I think the point is made. One of the more vile ones died young, another is incarcerated for murder, none really amounted to much, but I still remember them, and I remember the absolute fear that I had in going to school because it was a place where there was no safety, and no means to defend yourself. Fight back, and you get punished, and the gang mentality kicks in and the bullying increases. (If you think fighting back is an option, you never went to an inner-city school, the only way out there is to 'gang' up, which of course, isn't really a good option).

    The point is, here I am, 30 years later, and I can remember the fear, anxiety, fake sickness to avoid school, poor performance, and all of the other aspects of the bullying. But the kidnapping? It's a minor footnote in my memory, a story I tell from time to time when it suits the conversation. But if 30 years later I can pick up the newspaper and glance at an obituary and remember that he was the same guy that made my life hell for several years, I think it helps illustrate that the impacts from bullying are lasting because unlike something like being robbed, bullying isn't a one-off event and can persist for years.

  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0111 1110 (518466) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:49AM (#45143115)

    Girls are verbal in their bullying. Guys are physical.

    So IOW girls don't get bullied. Instead they get teased, insulted, and taunted and socially excluded by the more popular girls. Well guess what? Guys also get teased and taunted and insulted and socially excluded. Is it still bullying when that happens to a guy? Using the word 'bullying' to represent both physical intimidation and teasing is confusing. I suspect the confusion is intentional and politically motivated. It's an attempt to get around the first amendment and try to make certain kinds of speech that you don't happen to like illegal.

    Look. I don't like people who tease other people either. I think they are assholes. I've never teased anyone in my life. But if we are going to put everyone who has ever teased someone else in jail we aren't going to have many people walking around in the outside world. If we are going to put everyone who has ever insulted someone else in jail then pretty much everyone would be in jail. I'm sorry, but that is just not the kind of world I want to live in.

  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:49AM (#45143119) Homepage

    Who know who doesn't get bullied? Kids with backbones. Because it's no fun to bully kids who stand up for themselves.

    Granting for the sake of argument that the above is true, how does one "stand up for oneself" against a flood of anonymous or pseudonymous nasty comments posted on the Internet?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @10:55AM (#45143183)

    You are lucky. You probably did never feel like there is no escape but suicide.

    Do you know what it is like to be bullied at school? Think of it as being mobbed at your work place without the opportunity to quit. You HAVE to go there. Every single day of your life. You have to go there, knowing for a fact that you will be bullied, maybe beaten up, without anyone or anything stopping your tormentor in any way. Unless you happen to have parents that somehow help you (which pretty much is limited to them teaching you to fight back dirty and teaching you how to avoid teachers to notice it, because everything else is at best a joke... and good luck having parents that teach you THAT), you will not have anyone fighting on your side. The school is the very LAST entity that had any kind of interest in helping you. Worse, you fighting back is against their interest. As long as the bully has you as a punching bag and you keep your mouth shut, the school is happy because there's no problem for them. Do not expect a school to help you in any way. Expect them, though, to punish YOU if you dare to fight back, because then they have a real problem at their hands, because that can easily escalate to a point where external entities will notice something.

    So imagine you're in that spot. Unable to quit. Unable to avoid it. Fighting back means being punished, first by the school and, depending on your parents, by them as well (because you're not the "good son" anymore they so love to present around, you're the "bad guy" that got expelled from school now, ya know?). And looking forward to graduating you notice that it's about as far away as you getting into school, which is pretty much a lifetime for you as a kid of 12. To put it into perspective for you, think of it being chained to your work place until retirement, with mobbing and beatings every day.

    Maybe this gives you a moment of an idea what it could be like, and why some kids view suicide as their only escape. It has nothing to do with being a pussy. It's simply that it is the only way out left to them.

  • by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @11:17AM (#45143423) Homepage

    You really think she killed herself because she thought people would think better of her, and that mourning a dead daughter/friend encourages suicide?

    Personally I can only begin to imagine what her grieving parents are going through. The posts above show that bullying doesn't have a short-term impact for many of its victims. Often they remember it for the rest of their lives. Some will go through years of counseling. Others will never reach their potential as a result.

    I don't for a second believe this girl took her life because she had some long-term plan as to how people would look at her. I strongly suspect that in a moment of despair she sought an escape.

  • by rbanzai (596355) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:07PM (#45143971)

    People defend bullies and call a 12 year old suicide a "coward." It disgusts but does not surprise me:

    1. ... that people want bullying to be considered protected speech.
    2. ... that the bullied are expected to physically beat down their tormentors or else they must deserve what they get.
    3. ...that some poor child that is so desperate that they kill themselves is branded a coward.

    Human society will always raise up the violent and support their efforts to eliminate the weaker members as if we're all animals and need to cull impure genes from our species. We are no more advanced than we were 2,000 years ago, just a loose collection of intelligent, slavering beasts in business suits and yoga pants.

  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmack (197796) <gmack@innerfire . n et> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:18PM (#45144107) Homepage Journal

    You know who got bullied a lot in my school? The kid with the pacemaker. Please tell me how he was supposed to stand up for himself. Also in my experience the kids who fought back ended up with the bullies coming back in groups.

    The problem is the kids who bully and not the victims.

  • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:21PM (#45144145)

    It was always a lie, mostly spread by bullies. Human beings are what they are because words are so powerful.
    Standard bullying tactics is to use words until the victim snaps, then claim to be in the right because they didn't "initiate violence".

    Remember that bullies are experienced sociopaths. Teachers are often socially inept or cowards or both, so they will side with the bully because they are socially inept and fall for the sociopath, or because they are cowards and expect less trouble from the victim than from the sociopath.

  • Re:WRONG (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dogtanian (588974) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:01PM (#45144719) Homepage

    What is appalling about people like you, 'Dogtanian', is that you are cowardly enough to beat up on children for behaviour you PRAISE in adults.

    Hmm. I really don't recall saying of those things I allegedly endorse. I must have been very, *very* drunk at the time.

    Or maybe you just felt free to shovel great masses of alleged opinions into my mouth because I'm a proxy for America.

    America almost universally praises its genocidal butchers in UNIFORM as heroes [..] When this happens, people like 'Dogtanian' applauds the system

    Sorry, I thought I was applauding the Rolling Stones tribute band that was playing that night, but I inadvertantly faced the wrong way and applauded the Republican convention.

    that not only allows so many men and women to get away with the worst forms of Crimes against Humanity unpunished, but encourages them to rejoice in their crimes forever afterwards. [..] cowards like Dogtanian attack them and label them with the moral deficiencies they themselves have. [..] The USA is almost unique on the planet in having a "blame the child" mentality. The USA is one of the tiny number of countries on the planet that executes children and disabled people. The USA is almost unique in REFUSING to sign UN conventions giving children RIGHTS. The USA is unique amongst nations of the West in allowing children to be subject to BDSM rape at school disguised as corporal punishment. The USA is almost unique in allowing parents to kidnap their 17-year-old daughters, and force them into extremely abusive facilities where they can be stripped and examined against their will, forced into nappies, monitored as they use the toilet, with no justification other than this is what the parents desire (you think I exaggerate- go Google 'Hephzibah House', a facility still running today where ALL these things happened).

    Sorry; when I signed that petition, I was assured it was just something about providing mittens for kittens. I knew it looked a bit long. Also, I'm afraid that I was very, very drunk [youtube.com].

    But seriously... glad to have been a nice little whipping boy / strawman to let you get that rant out of your system.

    If you actually want my opinion, I'm just as disgusted by much of that stuff as you are. (Much as it pains me to "agree" with you). I just happen to have a low tolerance for sociopathic bullies that push people into killing themselves- picky, I know- and something of a desire to see them get back exactly what they dished out.

    You're the purest example of someone who- faced with another person who says something they don't entirely agree with- feels free to ascribe any and all opinions held by *all* his/her enemies to that person, regardless of the evidence, and do so in the most sanctimonious, self-righteous manner. I've come across several on Slashdot, but you're certainly the worst.

    People like 'Dogtanian' show why America is so sick.

    Know what's actually funny? After that anti-American rant, I have to tell you... I'm not actually American. Never even been there.

    I think at this point, I'm entitled to say... you utter fuckwit. :-P

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:07PM (#45144819)

    This isn't about the speech being offensive or not, it is about people not having the capability to retreat from the speech.

    The best example I can give as to why this is not an attack on free speech is this:

    Situation 1: A person on a soapbox with a megaphone in the town square.
    Situation 2: A person on a soapbox with a megaphone following you to school, at your locker, in your classroom, in the hallway, at recess, on the bus.

    At what point do you propose that speech transitions into a felony akin to armed robbery? How do you make that distinction?...

    In a manner similar to how we deal with most other forms of harassment. If the person asks you to stop, or reports your behavior as harassing, and you do not stop, that makes it a situation where you have to make an explicit attempt to violate the request that you stop. It takes an active step on the harrasser's end after they have been notified that their behavior is unwelcome.

    If bullying-leads-to-suicide is a crime that justifies 5 years, does bullying-without-suicide justifies 1.5 years? I think not.

    I don't see why we shouldn't consider lighter sentences for situations which result in less harm inflicted.

    If you get drunk and push someone and they fall and break their arm, that's battery.
    If you get drunk and push someone and they fall and break their neck, that's manslaughter.

    In both cases, the act was the same but the harm of that act was different. If you bully someone, and they commit suicide, and someone else bullies another person to the same extent, but that person doesn't commit suicide, perhaps instead of worrying that that other person got 'lucky' maybe you should reconsider engaging in reckless behavior. It is reckless, because you can't know the possible repercussions before hand. But again, punishment commensurate with harm is not a byproduct of an unjust system just because the same action can cause variable amounts of harm.

  • by zzsmirkzz (974536) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:10PM (#45144853)

    WILL NOT stand by and allow someone to be punished for speaking something that I find offensive. I don't care if it offends you, it's not your right to avoid offense.

    There is another distinction that you are missing. When it comes to bullying, the speech isn't necessarily "offensive", it isn't said with the intent to "offend" the victim. It is "harmful", it is said with the intent to cause "harm" to the victim. As with most legal cases, intent is important. If it can be proven a bully engaged in speech with the intent to cause harm then that bully could be prosecuted, not for his speech, but for his intent. If it the harm can also be proven, as in this case the suicide of the victim, then the charges/sentencing can be increased. They may have only intended to harm the victim however the death of the victim was the result, they are now liable (or partially liable) for contributing to that death.

    Now, in case you are talking specifically about the offensive facebook post, then you must also look at it another way. The facebook post amounts to a confession, a confession of intentionally causing harm to the victim (bullying) as well as the acknowledgement that it led to the victim's suicide/death. Furthermore, it is a confession of no remorse for the effect that was caused by the bully. Even if she has no intent for her speech to lead to an acutal suicide, when she was faced with the fact that it did, she was not remorseful of her actions. Given these facts, she should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and given no leniency in sentencing.

  • Re: This (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @03:28PM (#45146253)

    And for others, they fpouyght, lost, got blamed for being a troublemaker and were worse off than before.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @04:42PM (#45146827)

    Yeah...I have a hard time seeing felony charges for "being mean".....

    These girls were horrible, but they didn't kill the other girl, she killed herself.

    Abuse is abuse, whether physical, emotional or psychological. Of the three, the scars of physical abuse are the easiest to heal. It wasn't too long ago that women were sent back to their abusive husbands because there weren't physical signs of the abuse. Usually, they stayed until they were killed by their abuser or their own hand or they killed their abuser, in which case they usually went to jail.

    These cases are far worse than somebody "being mean." Bullying in these cases are an act of violence and until people get that, violence against weaker individuals will continue.

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