Think back to when you were fourteen. You probably were a little awkward, wanted to fit in and very insecure. And it's funny because looking back now, no one was cool! Yet, at that age, it seemed as if we were always the odd man out. Fortunately, however, we didn't have to encounter the kind of cyberbullying that makes kids stay home from school, cut their wrists or even commit suicide. That is the sickening reality we live in today.
In present society, bullying has become much harsher and more severe than the childhood teasing or after school nuggie we all endured at some point. With the advent of technology, bullying has now taken on new forms -- kids spread embarrassing photos via text message, post hurtful statuses on Facebook, and create websites dedicated to humiliating another student.
Bullying -- cyber or otherwise -- is not only devastating to children and their families, but also ruins their lives. It can stay with you forever and, in some extreme cases, lead to suicide. There is no cure for bullying, there is no pill to make the pain go away, and attempts to stop the attacker are usually futile -- once the damage is done, there's no going back.
We have to be brave enough to stand up for those that have been beaten down relentlessly. The first step in taking action against bullies? Identifying their crimes. Here we bring you 8 horrific acts of bullying, so that you don't turn a blind eye the next time you witness it happening:
Florida Teen Brags About Making A Girl Commit Succeed Who Was Bullied
Two Florida girls -- 12 and 14 -- were arrested on felony charges on October 16, 2013 for taunting 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who jumped to her death from an abandoned cement factory tower last month.
One suspect even atrociously bragged on Facebook: “I bullied Rebecca nd (sic) she killed herself.” Rebecca was harassed for months by as many as 15 girls through online message boards, Instagram and text messages.
Now, justice will be served as these two will be tried for their heinous crime. The parents risk being implicated as well, to set an example that parents cannot be negligent of such atrocious torment.
Special Needs Teen Receives Disgusting And Cruel Text Messages From Classmates
Eighteen-year-old Shea Shawhan of Plano, Texas, suffered a severe brain injury at birth, and now has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old. She is also the victim of bullying by many of her peers at Plano West Senior High School. Shea receives text messages from fake phone numbers that range from cruel to frightening, as one went so far as threatening to rape and kill Shea.
Now, her mother sits with her at lunch at school in order to protect her from other students and keep her company. Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Shea. She has thousands of supporters on her Facebook page, Imwithshea, and one of her biggest fans is Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban.
Elderly Bus Monitor Gets Tormented By Her Students
Karen Klein, a 68-year-old bus monitor, was tormented by her students with profanity, insults and threats during one bus ride. One student documented the 10 minute ordeal, uploaded it to YouTube and the video went viral.
After Max Sidorov, a Toronto nutritionist, saw the video, he, along with the fundraising site Indiegogo, managed to raise a stunning $700,000 in support of Ms. Klein. She plans on using part of the funds toward the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation.
Florida School And Police Do Nothing To Stop Teen Boy From Bullying 13-Year-Old Girl
Debbie Piscitella had had it with the 14-year-old boy, Jon, who tormented her 13-year-old daughter and posted cruel and sexual comments on Facebook. After the school's administration did nothing to stop the taunting, Debbie went to the police, who still did not act on her behalf. Finally, after coming face-to-face with Jon, Debbie yelled and strangled him and was later put in jail.
She eventually made bail and appeared on "Good Morning America," to express regret for her actions and share the rest of the story. Meanwhile, her daughter, McKenna, was still so hurt by the experience that she was too choked up to speak.
Man Killed During Walk Across Country To Raise Awareness About Dead Son’s Struggle With Bullying For Being Gay
Joe Bell decided to quit his job in La Grande, Oregon and embark on a journey toward New York City, where his son dreamed of working in photography or fashion. Bell's son, Jadin, was just 15-years-old when he killed himself after being bullied at school for being gay.
Joe Bell, 45, decided to walk in his honor and spread the message to stop bullying saying, "I miss my son Jadin with all my heart and soul. I know you're with me on this walk." After six months of walking in the rain, finding shelter in ditches, and sharing his son's story, Joe Bell was tragically killed by a tractor-trailer on October 9, 2013.
Arizona Football Team Befriends Special Needs Student To Protect Her From Bullies
Chy Johnson suffers from a brain disorder that has compromised her mental capabilities. After bullies called her daughter names and threw trash at her, Chy's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, decided to intervene. She asked Carson Jones, the high school's starting quarterback, to inform her of the students who were teasing her daughter.
One day, Jones spotted Chy in the lunchroom and invited her to sit with his teammates. Soon, Chy had a group of friends that she calls, "her boys." To Carson Jones, his act of tremendous kindness and bravery, was "no big deal" -- little does he know that his actions have protected Chy from further bullying. We could all learn a lesson from him.
Parents Of 11-Year-Old Victim Were Told 'Boys Will Be Boys' By School Administration
Ty Smalley, featured in the movie "Bully," was just 11-years-old when he took his own life after being bullied for over two years in elementary school. His father, Kirk Smalley, now works to fight against bullies and seek legislature to end bullying once and for all.
The parents repeatedly brought the case to the school's administration who dismissed the case saying, "boys will be boys" and did nothing to help Ty. In fact, the kid who bullied Ty was given one day suspension while Ty, the victim, was given three days suspension. Ty never served that suspension -- when he came home from school, he committed suicide.
Teen Commits Suicide Over Sexting
After Jesse Logan, 18, broke up with her boyfriend, he sent the nude pictures of Jesse around the school, which prompted young girls to harass Jesse to the point where she didn't want to go to class. Jesse was brave enough to go on a local television and share her story of shame and torment and hopefully raise awareness of her cause.
Two months later, Jesse Logan hanged herself in her bedroom. Her mother, Cynthia Logan, is still devastated and upset that she never knew the extent of her daughter's traumatizing bullying. She said that officials at Jesse's high school were aware of the harassment, but did not take action to stop it, instead telling her to approach the girls and ask to have the pictures deleted. Clearly that attempt was futile.
October National Bullying Prevention Month
Sponsored by PACER's National Center for Bullying Prevention, the campaign aims to unite communities and raise awareness of the dangers of bullying. Act up, band together and don't let a helpless individual go unnoticed.
Top Photo Courtesy: Tumblr