Gabriel Taye, an 8-year-old from Cincinnati, committed suicide after being attacked by boys in school. No one from the school informed the family he was being bullied or that he had been attacked. He hanged himself two days later.
Ten-year-old Ashawnty Davis lived a happy life in Colorado until the bullying became too much for her to bear.
She had begun to stand up for herself with the bully and one day one of their exchanges became physical. Another student posted a video of the fight online and two weeks later, Ashawnty hanged herself in a closet when she got home from school.
Ashawnty’s school released a statement about how much of a loss it was when she was removed from life support two weeks later, but also stressed that the video had not taken during school hours.
Gabriel’s school denied knowing he was being bullied, even after he was found unconscious by three teachers in the bathroom after the altercation.
These suicides never should have happened.
Schools may not be responsible for everything students do, but school leaders must notice when students are bullied and see when it starts to affect their students.
School teachers are in charge of students when they are in school. They are meant to teach them and watch over them. Once students are released for the day, the responsibility changes to parents. Teachers cannot control what students post online and they cannot control what students do outside of school, but hat doesn’t mean they can’t pay attention to these things.
When students are having issues with each other, in or out of school, it should be addressed in some way if it was brought to the attention of school officials.
It is harder to avoid bullies in this day and age. According to the Cyberbully Hotline, 7.5 million Facebook users are under the age of 13. Social media follows users everywhere; it is practically unavoidable. There is no way for school leaders to control students’ social media pages, but if a student isn’t acting like they normally act or the school finds out about something posted by students online that is malicious, it needs to be addressed.
So although Gabriel wasn’t a victim of cyber bullying, he still was a victim of bullying and should not have died as young as he did. Suicide rates among 5-12 year olds average one every five days, according to the national Centers for Disease Control.
Both schools denied accountability, but both were aware of the incidents that led to these children’s suicides. Schools need to prevent bullying better because 8 and 10-year-old shouldn’t be committing suicide.