PSA: Bullying Doesn’t Make you Cool.

**this post was edited and reposted after conflicting information regarding Keaton’s actions and his family’s actions.

I’ve recently discovered several posts regarding children taking their lives because of being bullied. With each article, blog post or update via social media, the sight of a story involving a young child committing suicide does not get any easier to bear. Then, to find out the child suffered by being constantly bullied is even more sickening to hear.

In my line of work, along with child safety, I also deal with circumstances surrounding children who are suffering from suicidal ideation. The reasons vary; however, a lot of times, it is due to bullying at school. I’ve had several children state that they are bullied in school and it makes them very depressed.

Recently in my city, there was a child who committed suicide because she was bullied. She was 13. Just recently, a 10 year old child (Ashawnty Davis) took her own life because of bullying in Auroro, Co. another 13 year old child (Rosalie Avila) spent years being bullied, and took her own life because of it. It breaks my heart to see a child feel worthless and talk about themselves as if they don’t matter to the world, because their peers have put that into their heads. To know a child is being bullied, for as little reason as how they may look (something totally out of their control), is a scary thought.

Most people may not understand how a child can allow themselves to get tied up into what others think of them; however, I also believe that this is one of the reasons bullying becomes so underreported and unaddressed. When children often feel as if they have no one to connect to, it causes an even greater divide between that child and their parents, and their parents’ ability to get resources that they need to deal with the depression or negative feelings that are associated with being bullied.

I hope that there is more research and awareness effort that goes into bullying, cyber-bullying and the negative psychological effect it has on children and teenagers, and I hope this brings more attention to the need for more crisis intervention and programs that help address signs of a child suffering from any depression or possible suicidal ideation. I believe it takes seeing to believe, and more people need to see that bullying has a horrible effect on children. Children are committing suicide at younger ages because of how much they are bullied. To know a child is so young enough to position in their minds that they no longer want to live on this earth is completely heart breaking.

I say this in memory of Rosalie, Ashawnty, and all of the other children out there that may be struggling with their emotions as a victim of bullying: never let someone take your joy. You were made in God’s image, and for that, you are beautiful no matter what people say. Don’t let anyone take away your smile, and don’t let anyone steal your joy for life.

I am saddened that these young girls were so devastated by what was happening to them, that they felt that taking their own life was the only resort to the damage that was done. I hope that more awareness is made around bullying, as it is real and there are children becoming victims and ending their lives because of it.

#StandWithAshawnty #StandWithRosalie

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