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Bullying Possible Cause in Teen’s Suicide in New York

by John Gomez | Last Updated: August 16, 2016

Adolescent years are difficult for everyone.  For some, this time in life is much harder than it is for others.  That’s because some young people are subjected to bullying.  We have learned a lot about bullying in recent years.  We used to think that it was just a ‘normal’ part of growing up and not something with which to be overly concerned.  Thanks to dedicated study and research, we now know that bullying has a tangible effect on those who are forced to endure it.  Sometimes the effects of bullying can be tragic.  While nothing has been determined by law enforcement, bullying is a suspected impetus of a suicide that was committed by a boy in New York last week.  He was 13 years old.

About the Possible Suicide by Bullying

According to this story that was published over the weekend, a 13-year-old boy hanged himself on Thursday.  He was a student at a Catholic school in Staten Island.  He left a suicide note that described bullying from five other boys that was constant.  The note went so far as to state that the boy had told his teachers about the bullying but that nothing was done in response.

The Brooklyn Archdiocese issued a statement declaring that they take bullying very seriously, but the boy’s father is understandably dissatisfied.  The New York Police Department is investigating the situation.  In the meantime, the boy’s family has set up a GoFundMe page in order to give him a proper memorial and to raise bullying awareness.

Bullying and Suicide Statistics

As the world of research began to dig into bullying, it found some startling statistics.  BullyingStatistics.org has published several of them, including:

  • Approximately 4,400 young people commit suicide in the United States every year.
  • Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people not yet 18 years old.
  • Suicide among young people is only ‘successful’ one percent of the time.
  • That means that 440,000 people in this age group attempt suicide in the United States every year.
  • Those subjected to bullying are between 2 and 9 times more likely to attempt suicide than others.
  • More than 150,000 students stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.

These are obviously very troubling statistics, and it should be noted that not all cases of bullying are even reported.

Warning Signs of Bullying

Bullying has become such a problem that the federal government has published a Web site designed to help people learn more about it.  If you have children or work with young people, the warning signs of bullying, from StopBullying.gov, are of particular importance.  These warning signs include:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed personal items
  • Frequent illnesses – fake or not
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Declining grades
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreased self esteem

There are others, but if you notice any potential problem with a child, do something about it.

How Children’s Rights Lawyers Can Help

If you sense that bullying is occurring and those in an immediate position of authority fail to act with appropriate urgency, do not give up.  Instead, continue to make noise about the problem and do not let it rest.  Contact law enforcement if necessary and do so before it’s too late.  If you need other forms of help, they are available.  The children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys understand how to help people facing this very difficult situation.  Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation if you’re not getting the help you need.  We hope that people continue to become more aware of this terrible societal problem and get involved with minimizing its presence in our culture.

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