12-year-old hangs herself after being tormented online
A 12-year-old English schoolgirl hung herself after being tormented online by cyberbullies about her hair and clothes. Find out the signs that your child is being bullied online and how we can stop cyberbullying in Malaysia.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That quote is a lie!
Nasty cuts and scars heal overtime. But insensitive words and acts cause irreversible injuries leading to something as dreadful as what happened to a 12-year-old school girl from England, Katie Webb.
The girl was constantly tormented by her peers. She endured taunts over social networking sites, the teasing never stopped, it made her feel miserable and depressed. In the end she took her own life!
When words kill…
Katie Webb, a 12-year-old schoolgirl is believed to have hanged herself after being tormented by online cyber bullies about her hair and clothes.
She was found at her home in Evesham, Worcestershire, and rushed to hospital by air ambulance. But despite the efforts of paramedics she was pronounced dead upon her arrival at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Distraught friends claimed Katie, took her own life after enduring taunts via social networks from cyber trolls. According to school friends of the young girl, a pupil at Simon de Montfort School, Evesham, she was often mocked for her hairstyle and for wearing the wrong clothing labels.
Related: Malaysian bullying video gone viral
An online tribute
Katie’s friends left tributes for her on Facebook and Twitter and condemned the callous bullies who targeted her.
Katie’s former head teacher David Braham at Bengeworth First School remembered her and said: “Katie was a vibrant and happy pupil. We remember her for her bouncy and loveable nature. She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her and will always hold a special place in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”
Police said they were investigating the circumstances of Katie’s death but that it was not being treated as suspicious.
What exactly is Cyberbullying?
• “Cyberbullying” is when a minor, is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another minor, using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.
• It could range from sending hateful or threatening messages to other kids to damaging other kids’ reputations or invading their privacy.
• Cyberbullying can be done for pleasure, anger, revenge, boredom or frustration.
• It makes the victim feel worthless and uncared for leading to depression.
• Cyberbullying can have devastating consequences. Suicide is one.
6 Signs that your child is being bullied online
• Nervous when online – Hesitant or nervous when an Instant Message, text message or Email appears. Visibly upset especially after using the computer or cell phone or suddenly avoids it
• Secrecy- Hides or clears the computer screen or closes cellphone when you enter
• Suspicious calls – Suspicious phone calls, e-mails and packages arrives at your home
• Social withdrawal – Withdraws from friends or wants to avoid school
• Mood swings – Trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, excessively moody or crying, seems depressed
• Marked change – Suddenly sullen, possible drop in academic performance.
If your child is targeted by a cyberbully teach them this effective method:
Stop, block and tell
STOP! Don’t do anything. Take 5! Basically do some favorite activity for 5 minutes to calm down.
BLOCK! Block the cyberbully or limit all communications to those on your buddy list.
and TELL! Tell a trusted adult and report immediately to a higher authority, you don’t have to face this alone.
Schools can be very effective brokers in working with the parents to stop and remedy cyberbullying situations. They can also educate the students on cyber ethics and the law. Let’s create a generation of good cybercitizens, controlling the technology instead of being controlled by it.