“Bullycide” is a word that underlines the fatal side of bullying: it’s bullying + suicide = bullycide.
Bullycide might be a new word. And deservingly so as neither the word nor – more importantly – the concept of “bullying” has created any real change in statistics nor at schools. In a world of zero tolerance, how has bullying grown to such an extent that statistics are now saying that bullying is the “3rd leading cause” of death among children 10 and up, and a major public health problem in school?
How do kids feel so despondent and so hopeless that they’re driven to hang themselves with dog leash, jump off a bridge or end their lives by any of the other means they employ due to the impact of bullying?
Once upon a time bullying comprised of teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting, and stealing initiated by one or more students against a victim; and it was also indirect causing a student to be socially isolated through intentional exclusion. Boys typically engage in direct bullying methods, but girls are more apt to utilize more subtle indirect strategies, such as spreading rumors and enforcing social isolation (Ahmad & Smith, 1994; Smith & Sharp, 1994).
Today, in our internet age bullying could reach epic proportions. If bullying was so hard to nip in the pre internet age, imagine today, where anonymity is a rage. Digital bullying can be a nightmare for parents in a society where kids hide lots, including, and perhaps especially, being bullied for all kinds of fear. Digital bullying is a fast growing problem because many kids have smart devices and are on all kinds of sites, with little or no parental or school control. Kids don’t know and don’t believe that their profiles are everywhere in cyberspace, and if neither teachers nor parents have a say, the [cyber]sky’ s the limit.
In an age where there are so many adaptations of books, especially romantic novels [hunger games, insurgent, fault in our stars etc], making a movie out of this book is much needed. Cassidy McMillan, has begun with her documentary “Bullies and Friends”
But we are going to need to see this subject explored much more if bullycide is to diminish. If teachers, parents, kids, law enforcers are to curb it.
It needs to reach wider audiences than just young readers shelves at the library if lives are to be saved. In Thirteen Reasons Why Hannah’s bullying started by rumors. She employs as sophisticated means to end her life as bullies use today to bully, even though Jay Asher wrote the book in 2007, almost 8 years ago. she leaves behind 13 tapes explaining why she ended her life.
Books like Thirteen Reasons Why , and documentaries like Bullies and Friends, should also be made required reading or part of all schools’ curriculum, starting from middle school where bullying might be most acutely felt. Middle school kids are at a juncture in their life where looks and fitting in mean everything.
If what Jay Asher predicted 8 years ago and what McMillan is saying in her documentary is true, bullycide is a time bomb that needs to be detonated at a faster pace, by everyone: teachers & other educators, parents, directors, writers, law officers, techno-activists because the world of technology has become smarter than us and we need to ‘skill up” before more kids utter these dreadful words that Hannah did in Thirteen Reasons Why: “a lot of you cared, just not enough”.