Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teen Suicides

Okay--very painful subject but I feel the need to address it.  My neighbor called this morning to tell me to put on the Today Show.  There were two moms on the show talking about their 14 YO girls from Minnesota who had apparently made a pact to hang themselves.  One of the girls was being treated for depression, the other left a note on FB explaining to her aunt that she just couldn't take the bullying anymore.  (Not her exact words, but close enough.)

Which brings me to one of my earlier posts about daughter #5 who is having issues with a group of girls at her school.  It started when she entered 7th grade.  This particular girl (who is head honcho for the group) has had it out for daughter #5's best friend and got pulled into mix by association.  Nonetheless, she is catching crap from this girl---I shall call her girl X.  Girl X has been a bully since MG and has a large following.  I personally have seen the bullying actions of this girl and had reported her to the principal at the time of the incident.  She was, of course, suspended... but, returned to school with no other reprecussions. 

Girl X is in 8th grade (same as daughter #4) and has never messed with her.  She seems to pick on the ones who are...well, let's go with... shorter, more frail, pretty--(because no one can be prettier than her.)  Girl X has taken this bullying outside of the school.  Her posse follows along where ever and whenever.  All reports have been made to the school and well, they had their counseling and closed the book.

At Christmas, there was a festival at our church.  Now Girl X does not attend our church, but she does however go to the teen functions because they are open to everyone!  So low and behold....she is at the Christmas festival.  I drop daughter #5 off with BFF and leave.  (You must understand that this function is very closely monitored--adult supervision and church volunteers)  I return for pick-up and after announcing her name for 15 minutes, she finally comes to my car.  "Mom," she says, "somethings happened and you have to come."  I am not one to freak out until I know the situation, so I calmly follow daughter #5.  She brings me to BFF who is being guarded by one of the kid's pastor.  He explains to me that Girl X attacked BFF from behind and they fought.  (Now, I'm responsible for this child as she was in my care at the time.) 

I look over to the other side of the field where Girl X was being guarded by the police (who were on duty there at the time.)  I tell the pastor to call BFF's mom and get her here, she may want to press charges.  I speak to her mom, who is well aware of the entire situation with school, and she tells me she is already in route.  I stay until she arrives, daughter #5 gives police statement and we leave.

Now comes the good part!!!  You remember I talked about the website Formspring...okay.  I take daughter #5 to get something to eat on the ride back home.  Well apparently, by the time we arrived back home, Girl X and posse had been released.  I didn't get word until later that BFF's mom decided not to press charges... she didn't want to see this troubled girl (Girl X) go to juvi!!  And just so you know as a side note, Girl X does have issues---no excuse for me!!  Anyway, daughter #5 gets on the computer knowing there will be talk on FB about the "big fight."  Determined that she would tell exactly what happened she logs in.  I stand behind her the entire time.  Next thing you know---there it is!!

Plastered all over FB---Girl X---"Just got in a fight and kicked some ass."  Naturally, daughter #5 wants to jump in and I have to give her the whole "she's not worth it" speech.  Now, daughter #5 goes to Formspring.  Totally new to me, so again, I stand back and watch.  To my shock, she is sending messages to daughter #5, threatening her, calling her names, telling her she'll see her in school and much, much, much, much more!!  Her language alone would make you cringe coming from a 14 YO.

I turned on the printer, printed everything she said and had daughter #5 cancel  her  Formspring.  I also had her block Girl X from her FB.  The difference between the two is at least FB you can block someone, more importantly she can be reported.  Formspring allows anyone to say anything without any rules!!!

This entire story is to express to you the importance of staying on top of what is going on with your children.  Do not allow them to use FB without having their password so that you can see what is going on.  It's not that you don't trust them... it's ones like Girl X that you have to worry about.  If you find anything, please, please, please notify your child's school, report whoever it is to FB, block that person from your child's friend list and above all----print copies of anything that has been said and file away!!  Talk to your children people--- cyberbullying is killing our kids!

Whether these two girls had other reasons for what they did, no one will ever know!  One of them definitely used FB and again, if either used Formspring we won't know that either. What I do know is that I would rather have my daughters pissed at me for a while and know they are still with me than to have done nothing and lose my kids over stupidity!!  It's just not worth it!!          See ya soon!

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