CODY EDGERTON: Someone needs a bully beatdown

Published 3:53 pm Monday, April 5, 2010

The past couple days I keep hearing about the tragedy of a 15-year-old girl hanging herself in the hallway of her apartment. This evidently happened in January but no one really said much of it until they charged nine of her classmates with involvement in her suicide.

Her name was Phoebe Prince and she had recently moved from Ireland to Massachusetts. I don’t know what the reason was for the move but I find it very unfortunate that she indeed left the Emerald Isle for the land of “being bullied until you kill yourself.” Also known as the land where kids push someone to an untimely death and then attend a dance as though nothing ever happened.

Back in the day people would see a little bullying and pass it off as kids being kids. But there comes a point when bullying goes from simple teasing to complete vicious intimidation. I think the fact that charges such as violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly, violation of civil rights, criminal harassment and assault by means of a dangerous weapon, where brought about goes to show that this situation is a little extreme to be classified as teasing.

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The poor girl had dated one of the guys in the notorious nine and supposedly the relationship ended about six weeks before her death. I’m sure he was quite the gentleman during their relationship, especially seeing as how he is now facing statutory rape charges.

I’m really glad to see the state picking up these charges though and I hope that the nine are made a hard-core example out of. String them up and let the country or world bully them with rocks, bats or whatever other instrument of torment they can find.

This is not the first time that a child has killed themselves after intense bullying. Megan Meier killed herself just days before her 14th birthday following a severe amount of ridicule and harsh language from a person whom she thought was a 16-year-old male. The person was actually the mother of a fellow classmate who claimed she was simply trying to find out what Meier was saying about her daughter. The initial communications were very nice and a relationship formed; however the messages turned cruel and the last message on Myspace from Megan was, “ You’re the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over.”

At least something was done about this situation and the family had to leave the town and enroll their daughter in a different school due to all of the negative reactions they were receiving. That was improved upon by a couple of blogs that continuously posted information about were they were living and working. So basically they got their just desserts. I hope the tragedy follows them their entire life. The state also created Megan’s Law to counteract cyber-bullying, so kudos to them.

It just shocks me that kids are so mean and venomous that they could actually tease other human beings to the point of breaking their soul into a million tiny pieces. I’ve been teased and done plenty of teasing in my life but I’ve never tore into someone so bad they wanted to die. Had I ever done something that wicked I’m sure that I’d be paying a serious price in the form of karma or just feeling like I want to crawl into a hole.

How people do these things and simply walk away saying it wasn’t their fault is something that I will never understand. The guilt they should be experiencing would be crippling, one would think.

I just think that people need to look out for things like this and it’s not just a parents job. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins even random acquaintances should be on the look out for people that might need a little shielding or pat on the back.

A suicide is such a waste. I believe that anyone can be capable of anything. One of those two children may have grown into adulthood only to find a cure for cancer or maybe just the common cold. They may have grown up and done nothing other than be a parent and that would be enough reason to give life another day.

Whenever people think that they have no reason to live, they need to reach out or hope that someone else will. It’s better to be left dangling an empty hand than to know that your hand wasn’t there when someone needed it to be. If you see or hear of someone bullying take action, make a move, don’t just sit there and assume it will be OK.  You may be sadly mistaken.

Cody Edgerton is copy editor at the Port Arthur News. He can be reached at