Everyone knows that kids can be mean, but with modern technology this phenomenon has escalated to new heights. Damaging young impressionable minds, causing severe depression–and in some cases, even suicide–online trolling and bullying has become a serious issue across the globe. Stories are shared of kids in Japan taking their own lives; young Americans being pushed to take horrific measures, unleashing terror on fellow students and even parents participating by taking to social media and defending their children. Celebrities are not immune to these attacks either, as has been seen most recently with talented comedian and actress, Leslie Jones.
Megan Mier was one of those young girls lured in by a “hot” guy online. After some initial friendly messages, things began taking a turn for the worse and the messages became more and more troubling. The last known message from her cyber hunk read, “Everybody in O’Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.” Shortly after this email was sent, Linda, Megan’s mother, recalls coming home and feeling a sense of dread. She rushed towards Megan’s room, only to find Megan hanging in her closet. Despite her mother’s heroic efforts to save her daughter, Megan died the next day, only 3 weeks before her 14th birthday.
This story has become commonplace in so many homes across the world. If you know of someone who is being bullied or trolled online, then action must be taken. Don’t shrug off your child’s online relationship because in their world it is everything. Stomp Out Bullying has taken this matter to a new level, working with millions of people to expose the ugly truth of this devastating phenomenon. If you are suffering from bullying, or know someone who is, the most important thing to remember is that there are ways to fight back and stop the hazing, report individuals to officials, and other actions that can be taken to end this horrific trend.