In the news we have all seen stories about children killing themselves from bullying. Phoebe Prince, Amanda Todd, and the story here in Florida that made national headlines… Rebecca Sedwick. That story went national because the Sheriff charged 2 young girls with her death. They were charged with felony counts of aggravated stalking. One of those charged was 12 and the other was 14. Their names and photos were released to the public and shouted for the world to hear. The Sheriff wanted to make an example out of them and wanted to get them and their family some help. At least that is what he says now. The reason I write this is because I wonder who is really to blame for the death of our youth at their own hands? Are their bullies to blame? Is this really something like the cases that I featured in the hate crime series? Do we blame the bullies and send them all to jail? Where do we draw the line between parenting and criminal intent? Let’s take a look at the tragic case of Amanda Todd. Amanda was 15 at the time of her suicide. She chose to hang herself after years of issues that came from a day in a chat room. When she was in 7th grade she got in a chat room to meet new people and while in there a person convinced her to “flash” him. She did and after that, he told her if she didn’t give him a show he would send her picture to everyone she knew so she did. After 2 years of living with her father, she went back with her mother and one night at 4am the police came to let her know that the picture was circulating online. She moved to a new area but still suffered from anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. She started using drugs and alcohol. A year later the guy reappeared on Facebook using her topless photo as his profile picture and contacted kids at her new school. The teasing started and she changed schools again. While at her new school she was contacted by a male friend she had known from another school and they met up on a break and while his girlfriend was away, they had sex. When school came back in session and the girlfriend returned, she beat up Amanda with another friend. Others stood around and watched and as most teenagers do they egged on the fight. Amanda tried to kill herself after that incident by drinking bleach. She was rushed to the hospital and had he stomach pumped. When she was released from the hospital, she was met with messages telling her she should drink more bleach and do it again. Telling her she couldn’t even kill herself right. So her mother moved cities with Amanda and moved schools… again! Her mother said every time they would move this guy would go undercover and become another friend on FB and terrorize her. He would say that he was getting ready to go to the school as a new student and was trying to meet new people. Here’s where I have to interject because I can’t write another word without my brain screaming at me… if you move and the problem continues to follow your kid on social media STOP THEM FROM GOING ON SOCIAL MEDIA! I mean I know common sense is not that common but seriously come the hell on here! If your child is being bullied on Facebook take away Facebook! If your child is getting threatening text messages, block the number or take away the damn phone! If your child can’t get on social media, guess what? They will live! You were raised without social media and you are able to function! Life will go on! Obviously it doesn’t go on if they are still involved in social media. Sorry I digress. So on Sept 17, 2012 Amanda posted a video on YouTube telling everyone of her suicide attempts and the bullying and what has happened to her and how she feels alone and depressed. The guy sent the video to staff and students at her new school and instead of people reaching out to her to help her they picked on her some more. Students called her Psycho and said she went to the crazy house. A month later on Oct 10, 2012 Amanda was found hanging in her home. Her video went viral and became headlines here in United States even tho she was from Canada. All of a sudden people cared. People wanted to be there for her. 600 people attended a farewell service in November 2012 for Amanda. To this date the man who was sending her topless photo and stalking her from school to school has yet to be identified or charged. I would think the police would at least care to find the person responsible for distributing child pornography but I guess it isn’t that important to them. Our lovely hacker friends Anonymous claim to have found the person responsible and say he is a 32yr old man but a site says the person is really 19 and they’re still investigating. Personally I am going to lean more towards what Anonymous says seeing as hacking is what they do best and I think they would be able to trace an online stalker a little easier than a reporting site. The case of Rebecca Sedwick is pretty similar but without all the fluff of the Amanda Todd case. I am not trying to downplay the death of a child but she wasn’t sexually active, flashing her boobs in chatrooms or anything like that. Rebecca was a 12yr old girl who just had a rough time. She didn’t always tell the truth so people stopped hanging out with her when they realized they couldn’t trust the things she was saying. She lied about her mother abusing her to her friends, she lied about simple everyday things, and people just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. A year before her death while at a different school her mother found out that Rebecca was getting text messages telling her to kill herself and that she should die. Rebecca was Baker Acted (an act in Florida that allows those who need it to be sent to a mental facility against their will if they are deemed a harm to themselves or others) prior to her death for cutting which is a popular way for those who are stressed and depressed to get rid of pain. They cut themselves deep enough to draw blood and feel pain but not deep enough to require medical attention. At her previous school she would come home and tell her mother she felt worthless, ugly, and that she was stupid. Her mother asked the school to intervene and when they did not her mother pulled her out and moved her to another school. Now here’s where things get a little hairy. When the 300 page report came out on this case, no where could you find the screen shots of the bullying the Sheriff supposedly saw. And no where could you find it on social media. Yes one of the alleged abusers said she bullied Rebecca and she was dead and “IDGAF”. There were also many posts before they were ever questioned by police stating that they wished things were different and they feel like they had played a part in her death. But it goes a little deeper than that. Could the fact that she didn’t have a dresser to put her clothes in have played a part? Her clothes were kept in grocery store sized bags in the living room, she slept on a recliner while her sister slept on the couch. Her father was never around, her mother had been in trouble off and on with the law since 95, she was barely making ends meet but trying to do her best for her kids. All of that plays a part perhaps a little bit more than some kids having a few words to say. The reports show that when her mother pulled her out of school in Feb 2012 the bullying stopped. There is no sign of anything after that from either of the alleged offenders. But yet in all of the paperwork that was submitted in the case file there was scant evidence to show that there was any bullying after she left school in February. Whatever her reasons, Rebecca chose to throw herself from the top of the platform at the cement towers located just a half mile away from her home in September of 2013. For my own moral reasons I will not show or name the 2 young girls who were originally charged in the aftermath of her death. The felony stalking charges were later dropped against the 12 & 14 year old girls due to lack of evidence. So who is really to blame in the deaths of these children? Are the schoolhouse bullies responsible? When does everyday bullying that has gone on for decades get to the point that it becomes more than a child can take and they take their own life? Or is it deeper than that? Does it start at home? Both of these girls came from a broken home with lots of issues going on when they came home from school that amounted to more than what was being dished out verbally by some kids with nothing better to do at school. When does it all become too much for a kid to handle and when do the parents need to shoulder some of the responsibility? We were all bullied growing up. In some way shape or form. None of us are perfect. I know I had my fair share of bullies but never did I want to kill myself over them. I was more overwhelmed by my personal life than I was my school life. I know others who have been in the same position. So why aren’t these parents being held accountable? It is their responsibilities to protect their children. Moving them from town to town and school to school does not make the problem go away! Its like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. You know you need to go to the hospital and get the bullet out and get stitches otherwise it will just get infected and continue to bleed. These girls were crying out for help and the ones who were supposed to help them failed them. Yes they were put into treatment for a little while and yes they were moved into a different school but the issue was still there. They had their phones, they had their FB accounts, they were allowed to partake in the situation that started the drama in the first place. They were given the tools to help feed an infection instead of curing it. It’s hard to tell your kid to ignore it when they’re sitting online reading the next post. These parents did not help their kids. Why the hell was a 7th grader in a chat room to begin with? In this day and age where child predators are so common why was she allowed to be in a chat room? Why was she somewhere that she was able to flash this guy and give him the show he wanted? My computer is in the middle of my living room. If my kids want to use it by all means go ahead and everyone can see what you’re doing and when you’re done I will look thru your history to make sure I didn’t miss anything. My daughter has a tablet and her google account it linked to mine so at any given moment I can log on anywhere and see what videos she’s watched on YouTube, what her browser history is, if she has downloaded any apps without asking. I set all her passwords so I know what she is doing and when she is doing it. Momma don’t play! She is 8yrs old and I know that someone out there would take advantage of her. I will not let up just because she gets older. I know what life is like and I know what scum is out there. I don’t want my child to be another one of these kids. Tormented for stupid mistakes because they didn’t know better. Because their parents didn’t tell them any better. So who do you think is to blame? Is bullying worse because of Social Media or are parents more relaxed in their parenting and not paying attention and a child’s cry for help goes unanswered? If you or someone you know is considering suicide PLEASE call the suicide prevention hotline 800-273-8255 and talk to someone!