Teen Dies Of Overdose After Posting About Being Bullied By 'Fake' Friends
Cyberbullying takes lives.
In July, Britney Mazzoncini, a 16-year-old from Glasgow, overdosed on anti-anxiety medication in the aftermath of years of bullying on the internet. Shortly before her death, she posted an angry Facebook status, calling out the "friends" who had been regularly taunting and insulting her online.
Her mother has finally spoken out about the tragedy, calling out the group of students who had tormented her daughter. She called cyberbullying the "sickness of the 21st century." Her mother said,
Britney had been bullied for years. [...] The bullying wrecked her confidence and no amount of love or praise could make it better.
Britney left school several weeks before her death, bent on becoming a police officer when she turned 17, but the bullying continued.
It continued on social media even after she left school. So-called Facebook friends also made horrendous comments on her postings. Worse still, others backed them.
Before her death, Britney posted the below status on Facebook, expressing her anger at the constant bullying.
As Britney explained in another online post,
Words do hurt people and people need to start to realise that before it's too late.
When bullying moved into the virtual realm, it became far more difficult to track, avoid or prevent — and easier to perpetrate with impunity.
It isn't hard to imagine, either, how this new degree of separation of the bullier from his or her victim helps spur more and more brutal language and behavior.
Before, you had to actually walk up to someone and say some evil stuff straight to someone's face. Now, however, you can just subtweet it and forget about it.
And because of the ease and speed of this form of bullying, the taunts accumulate and more teens engage in it.
Throughout this, Britney's mother has attempted to maintain a normal life for Britney's two siblings.
I have to be strong for my two other children. A mother has no choice, she has to go on no matter how hard it is.
In the end, she has only one wish:
I only ask that bullying is taken seriously before some other parent loses a dearly loved child.