Concerns expressed about bullying's impact on teen suicide - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Concerns expressed about bullying's impact on teen suicide

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Putting up with bullies day in and day out can wear a child down. Putting up with bullies day in and day out can wear a child down.
FLOWOOD, MS -

FLOWOOD, MS (WLBT) - A local middle schooler, who we will not identify, experienced a grueling time last school year with some classmates.

According to the young victim, the bullies were, "hitting me in the back of the head. Talking about me. Various stuff."

Putting up with bullies day in and day out can wear a child down.

"I felt powerless," the student said. "It was a group of kids that were bigger than me - three to six of them (at any given time). I thought about moving schools. Had thoughts of hurting myself. Stuff like that."

"I think it starts fifth, sixth grade is where it becomes the most predominant," said Chris Cothern, chief adolescent counselor at Psycamore Psychiatric Programs.

Cothern often treats victims of bullying and bullies themselves.

"Some of them can turn it inward, become anxious and suicidal. Others turn outward and have anger outbursts and rage and begin victimizing other people," Cothern said.

Last year, over half a dozen Massachusetts teens were charged in connection with the suicide of school mate Phoebe Prince.

Prosecutors said Prince had been verbally and physically abused and threatened for almost three solid months. But it's not the only case.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Mississippi teens according to a 2005 CDC report.

"The stats are staggering, and I think of lot of that stems from this problem," Cothern said. 

The young victim we spoke to escaped by changing schools, but he left one of his friends behind.

"If he ever went into the bathroom with us he would get jumped," the student said. "They would gang up on him and start punching him and hitting him. His parents don't have the money to send him to private school, so he has to stay there."

WEB LINKS:
http://www.stopbullying.gov
http://www.bullies2buddies.com

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