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October 25th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Bullied to Death

cyberBullyIf you think cyber bullying isn’t really that big of a deal, or just kids being kids, let me throw a few facts at you: More than 40 percent of kids in this country say they’ve been bullied on the Internet, and 35 percent say they have received online threats. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, cyber-bullying victims are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to those who have not endured such bullying. Since 2003, at least a dozen young people between the ages of 11 and 18 have killed themselves after some form of cyber bullying.

The Dr. Phil show has been inundated with letters and calls from kids desperate to escape these keyboard bullies — omnipresent, electronic stalkers who go after them day and night, destroy their reputations, if not their lives, and then log off their computers and disappear. For every sickening cyberbully incident you read about — such as the suicide of Rutgers University college student Tyler Clementi, after he learned a roommate had allegedly videotaped his sexual encounter with another young man and streamed it live online — there are at least a half dozen more that never make headlines.

It’s flabbergasting. When I was young, bullies intimidated with their physical size and words. Now, they have Facebook, MySpace, e-mail, texting, message boards, comment fields, blocked calls, instant messaging and chat rooms. And what these keyboard cowards can accomplish with those weapons is exponentially greater than what the old-school bully was once able to do on a playground or in the school cafeteria.

Under the cloak of anonymity, a cyber bully can wage an emotional and psychological war with a few keystrokes — disclosing personal photos, sending group e-mails with the intent of humiliating an individual, sending threatening e-mails, posting embarrassing or mean messages for others to comment on or share. By using false identities, a cyber bully also can make his victim feel that legions of other kids despise him or her.

In a matter of seconds, a cyber bully can completely destroy a fragile adolescent’s reputation. And what makes it worse for the victims is that there is absolutely no place for them to hide. In my day, you could at least get away from your attacker by retreating to the safety of your own home. Not anymore. Parents, think about it: Your child may be sitting at home, doing homework, reading, relaxing or watching television — just being a kid, and suddenly and relentlessly, he or she may start receiving taunting e-mails: “You’re ugly.” “No one likes you.” “We are going to beat you up tomorrow.” “We all wish you would just die.” “No one wants you here, so why don’t you just kill yourself?” Cyber bullies strike at any time, and they follow their targets everywhere — not only into their homes, but from school to school, even across the country.

And a cyber message spreads like wild fire. By word of mouth alone, a rumor might reach 20 people. An online posting has the ability to reach millions — even if it doesn’t, to the victim, it will feel like the entire world has seen it. Unlike the old days, when whatever was written on the wall could be erased or painted over, it is impossible to un-ring the “cyber-bell.”

Later this week, I will be joining Anderson Cooper on AC360 and again Friday for “Bullying: No Escape,” an AC360° Special Report with People Magazine and Cartoon Network, to address the impact bullying is having on young people in America. I’m sure there are many parents who still don’t fully understand its reach and how it may already be affecting their children. Too many victims suffer in silence because of the shame and embarrassment they feel. Others may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Some decompensate and lose touch with reality. Their grades drop because they are afraid to go to school. Their friends disappear. They become even more humiliated — and yes, more isolated — as the harassment continues for weeks, months and even years. Too many of these children become so distraught that they turn to desperate measures and do the unthinkable.

Bullies, be on notice. We’re using AC360, Friday’s “Bullying: No Escape,” Special Report and the Dr. Phil show as platforms to spur a national movement to fight back against this growing, insidious epidemic. On Wednesday, October 6, the Dr. Phil show is bringing in a panel of experts to examine this disturbing trend, shining a spotlight on recent headlines to raise awareness, and taking a closer look at the laws currently in effect to hold bullies accountable. And then, we’re following it up with another show on Thursday to kick off our Anti-Bullying Movement.

It’s time to get to work. The lightning speed at which technology is advancing demands our immediate response. Our schools and parents need to start discussing the potential dangers of the Internet and the impact of cyberbullying with their kids; teach them a responsible way to use the Internet and make them understand that harassing someone online is just as destructive as tormenting them in person. We need to add language to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to give schools more power to crack down on cyberbullying, and provide counseling to not only its victims, but its offenders as well. It’s time to have serious discussions about what additional laws need to be written. For instance, if a victim of cyberbullying dies by suicide; to what degree should the bully be held accountable for that death?

More than anything, it’s time for parents to know the warning signs and get more involved in their children’s online activities. Know what they’re doing on their computers, including the sites they visit, the social networks they belong to, and who they’re socializing or “chatting” with. Monitor their activity. Don’t let your kids tell you it’s an invasion of privacy. As a parent, you need to know.

And your kids need to know that posting information that may seem funny or like harmless gossip, or even retaliation to someone who’s crossed them, could destroy someone’s feelings or permanently damage their reputation. Make sure your children aren’t tempted to cross the line and become, even ever so briefly, Internet bullies themselves. And if you suspect they are being bullies, don’t look the other way. Take initiative. Talk to them about why it’s wrong. As we must remember, just one malicious rumor can result in unimaginably deep emotional scars that can last a lifetime.

For those who may still be taking this lightly or thinking that cyber bullying can’t be all that big of a problem: Take a look at the faces of the children who have been bullied, and think about the moment young Tyler Clementi stood on the George Washington Bridge before he jumped, alone and devastated, his heart broken. It’s time to get involved.

If a friend or loved one is talking about or planning to take his or her life, reach out for help now. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).

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155 Responses to “Bullied to Death”

  1. kery yuleou says:

    May seems to be a interesting month. Lets not forget when it comes to the tuesday show, who really is the person who did the damage. Stop letting him off the hook and put it on him. He is the one involved, not the other party.

  2. Shirley says:

    Bully is in “Corporate America” and people are having the “Monkey Don’t See, hear, and say” attitude.
    People reach out to responsibly people daily and their concerns or ignore. The only time society wants to view the reasons for mental illness, is when one do something to themselves or another.

  3. It is bad enough that Someone talks a great deal about untruth to your character, it is another to really be bullied on every site you are trying to make a difference in obtaining work that you have done in the past. Social networking is becoming a trend for some like me who have an exytra talent in the music industry. I have been cyberbullied by another in my area that wants and has been trying as well to make connections in the same industry as me. The only difference with me is I won’t strike back at her and her friends that she has taken to gang up on me, I just delete them. I have had so many different profiles that she has made up and she also attacked the site I pay for to get business.
    I would like the teens out thefe to know that bullying and cyberbullying is not right, but I have made the mistake in the beginning to feed into this persons evil bullying by defending my honor. Bullies are people who are very insecure and have many problems in their life. I know I have been one of them who has been very shy and very talented person who let them always bully me.even in my childhood years I have been the one who was bullied , and I let it get in my ways and talents.
    Some of my friends from childhood have seen how much I accomplished and they have said to me how outgoing my life is now. I even married the wrong bully and was abused. please do not let your bullies get the best of you . Always be sucessful and work at your talents I am a preschool teacher, Preschool music teacher, and I do a little side work in karaoke DJ work. I use all of my talents and I do not let anyone stop me anymore even though this bully is still out their bullying me I still ignore her by not accepting anyone I do not know and really researching if a such businesss is really a business.
    Do not feed their hunger of bullying , They have no real ambition to really work on their own talents , they pray on others to bully and gain access to what you are really trying to make of yourself . they talk down to you and they make you try to believe they are better than you.

  4. Susan says:

    I have been bullied all my life. Starting at home with my brothers, and continuing on through school. At home being told I was stupid and dumb by my parents, and sexually abused by two brothers. School was very difficult for me, so kids would point and laugh at me. I felt so dumb. I still do. I quit high school at 16, had a baby and at 19 had another one. I have been through four marriages, the last one ended with my husband dying of lung cancer. I have never worked longer than 6 months at a time, and I am 59.
    Dr. Phil, I am so tired of it all. My parents are gone, and I have no contact with my brothers.
    Can you help?

  5. vicki says:

    Hi I caught the tail end of your show on OWN about cyber bullying. Well let me tell you about our AwFUL experiance with this. It all started with a PE teacher here locally being arrested for rape. So all these 12 and 13 year old girls were on facebook defending him. (BTW he is still in jail). So my 12 year old daughter got involved in the discussion and only said what she had been taught at home, and school. That NO means NO no matter what. And asked why people are defending him. Well my daughter had a huge ENEMY at school. And my daughter isnt the type to have enemies she is sweet , nice and caring. But her and this girl cheered together and at the time my daughter had better gymnastic skills than her. That is where the rivary began. Actually ir started with the parent geting mad when i posted on facebook that my daughter threw a difficult skill by herself 6 months prior to the cyber bullying incident. Well tryouts came around for the following years school cheer team and they were put on the same team. OK no biggie she just avoided her until she hat to be her base, but my daughter being my daughter took it in stride and dealt with it.Well going back to the night o n Facebook and the thread about the teacher. School had let out and it was first week the week when everyone goes to the beach. Well my daughter wasnt going because we were headed on a vacation to Turks and Caicos island the following week. Well she said in the thread that he was guilty. That they dont just run around arresting people for no reason. Well that sparked the girl who didnt like my daughter and another girl and a bunch of the boys to start a public attack on my daughter in a thread on facebook. The boys said things like “lets rape this bitch to shut her up”, the girls told her how ugly she was and that she needed to learn what being a biig bad teenager was like. they also told her to kill herself , dig a hole and throw herself in it, and that she wasnt even worthy of that, the boys threated bodliy harm. So at 2 am when I had no idea she was up on the internet but school was out. She comes into my room shaking and crying and said these two girls had just embarrassed her on facebook and they were telling her to go kill herself. So I log into her account see the thread print the thread, and at 2 am start making phone calls to parents I was that LIVID. One parent being the girl who was the ring leader her mom telling me her daughter was at the beach and didnt do it and cursed me and hung up, I proceeded to text her and let her know I would be contacting the authorities in the morning. The other parent I called and she denied it up and down and said her daughter was at the beach with the other girl and they didnt have internet, and I was like yes they do cause I am looking right at their page and they are on. Then she proceeded to say her daughter asked mine to stop defending her position that no means no and so thats why the girls did it. By morning I was so upset my daughter was upset and embarrased and didnt even want to leave the house. So I start calling the sherrif first had them come out and take a report and turn it over to the new cyber bullying division. Which BTW they never did anything as far as I know except call the parent and go to their houses and listen to their version of the story which by then had been twisted into me being an overprotective mother who called the cops on 13 year olds. Never mind the reason! I then proceeded to call the cheer team coach and the head coach over all the teams they asked for copies of the thread which I provided. And I told them the only reason I was bring cheer into any of this it was because my daughter would have toface these girls at the next practice and they were all in a stunt group together. In the end the cheer coach did the most punishing. She at least scared the daylights out of them and embarrased them in front of everyone and threatened to remove them from the team. I aslo contacted both the middle school and high school who at both ends I was told unfortunatly since they were out of schoool for summer they couldnt do anything. Unfortunatly this girls picked when school had just been out for a few days. I continually followed up with the sheriffs dept and said I want to press charges to the fullest against each of these kids. I had the printed out thread where it showed their names and there was no denying it was these kids. Finally after weeks the officer said he visited every parent and let them know what happened and that id they ever did something like that again they would be punished!!!! My husband and I were outraged we were like are you kidding me? And they said all this cyber bullying was new to nthem and that was all they could do! Oh and we live in a very small town where everybody knows everybody. And so by a couple days we kept tp ourselves and then left on vacation. When we returned I returned to ALOT of voice messages and rumors. Apparently while we were gone on vacation was perfect timing for the moms to put their side out there. I didnt hesitate to let them know if they would like to come and read what happened then they were more than welcome to but otherwise shut up until you know the facts and stop defendin these bullies. Well the priniciple at the middle school made sure to not put my child in class with any of these students boys and girls. Finally it all died down and we stopped fighting realizing the that cops, school, and parents wouldnt do anything! Now again my daughter must cheer with the ring leader of the bunch, But my daughter being the good kind person she is just avoids her but the mom is relentless and picks at eveychild on the team. But it seems the coach will never see it but my daughter says whatever the coaches know what they are thinking and I can ignoire it. So there is our story of major cyber bullying and how nobody seemed to really care or at least the grown ups in charge.

  6. Claudia says:

    Parents Beware of Teachers!

    My special needs son who has post traumatic stress disorder from his early years prior to his adoption into our family was removed from the safety of his peers and other adults by El Cerrito Middle School teachers Steve Case and Jessica Johnson. He was not permitted to talk to his parents! He was taken by taxi to a hotel room 30 minutes away from his peers brought to a hotel room sequestered, interrogated and we were deprived of parental rights to communicate with him. Jessica Johnson had NYPD handcuff our son take him to the hospital and upon his return made him stay in the hotel lobby until I could arrive from California! He was without a bed for 44 hours. Although the attorney for Worldstrides concedes that what our son was accused of has never been clearly stated or validated he does believe World strides followed proper protocol for questioning students during their trips!
    When our son tried to call us from the hotel room he was clearly told by teacher Steve Case to put the phone down! Our son has suffered terrible mental health consequences as a result of this trip.
    BEWARE World strides continues to claim this is proper protocol for their trips!
    If you are interested in hearing the audio file post me and I will provide the link to the audio file but be sitting down as it is horrifying that this behavior is considered acceptable!

  7. Samantha says:

    I am currently watching the cyber bully episode. I wanted to say how much i appreciate Dr. Phil and his stand against this. I myself haven’t been affected as much as others but have had many close to me who have been and have lost many kids around where I live by taking their own lives. I held an Anti-Bully/Anti-Cyber-Bully Rally in downtown Halifax to raise awareness against the issue, but am always looking for more ways to help. Just wanted to thank Dr. Phil for bringing it up and showing people that they shouldn’t have to deal with this alone.

  8. kelli forgrave says:

    My sons story sounds much the same, but not with a happy ending. My beautiful 15 year old son took his own life, January 15, 2011. I did not know about the bullying that was going on, he didn’t speak out and tell anyone. I’m not sure when it started, but i do know it continued even after my son was gone. I went online and checked his facebook and youtube pages and I could not believe the things I was reading. Most of the things written about my son were untrue, but were so horrible, it made me sick to my stomach. Even in my sons death, the bullying did not stop. There was even comments from certain people , not just from kids but also an adult, which he was the meanest of them all, that made jokes about my son’s death. I will live with this everyday of my life, this cyberbullying , MUST be dealt with before we lose anymore innocent beautiful children. My son’s birthday is next week, July 24,1995, he would of been 16 years old, so instead of having a big low out birthday party for him, me and his family will be crying over his grave, wishing we could just have one more moment with him. I love my son and always will and would do anything for him, Dr. Phil i am behind you 150%. Please lets stop this before another parent has to bury another child.

  9. kelli forgrave says:

    My sons story sounds much the same, but not with a happy ending. My beautiful 15 year old son took his own life, January 15, 2011. I did not know about the bullying that was going on, he didn’t speak out and tell anyone. I’m not sure when it started, but i do know it continued even after my son was gone. I went online and checked his facebook and youtube pages and I could not believe the things I was reading. Most of the things written about my son were untrue, but were so horrible, it made me sick to my stomach. Even in my sons death, the bullying did not stop. There was even comments from certain people , not just from kids but also an adult, which he was the meanest of them all, that made jokes about my son’s death. I will live with this everyday of my life, this cyberbullying , MUST be dealt with before we lose anymore innocent beautiful children. My son’s birthday is next week, July 24,1995, he would of been 16 years old, so instead of having a big blow out birthday party for him, me and his family will be crying over his grave, wishing we could just have one more moment with him. I love my son and always will and would do anything for him, Dr. Phil i am behind you 150%. Please lets stop this before another parent has to bury another child.

  10. Dr Phil,
    I ready to join the movement here is in the United States. I students internationally since 2002. It seems the British see the value. Our own country (United States) views this as a national security issue because the Department of Defense funded me to teach this subject to young people in a fledgling democratic nation.

    My program empowers young people and teaches respect, dignity, and humanity of others.

    I’m here!

  11. Bev Lam says:

    I have 11 grandchildren who have very strong personalities. I personally monitor their Facebook and MySpace sites to be able to know their friends and circles and an proud to see my babies taking up for others who are less fortunate. I would love to be able to do what I can to support other less fortuanate children.

    I grew up with a very low self esteem so can understand some of what they are going through however at that time everything was by word of mouth, there wasn’t all the technology they have today to hurt each other.

    One thing I have noticed however that it seems the children doing the bullying have in someway picked up the behavior from home. As you have often said our children are born a blank slate. Everything IS LEARNED and primarily from the central caregivers. We think we keep our bad sides from our babies but we are just lying to ourselves, they know more than we think and if it is good for Mom and Dad to do than it must be of for us to do.

    Didn’t mean to run on however I wanted you to know you working on this is a Godsend. Thank you so much to you AND Robin. She is your ROCK and stabilizer.

  12. I do agree that cyberspace and bulling is wrong

  13. I do agree that bulling is wrong I used to get bullied I got teachers involved that helped me

  14. ga says:

    My daughter has been bullyed since 8th grade in the Mississippi. She normally is a sweet loving girl with a learning disability. The bullying has stored up so bad causing her to hit her teacher with a folder in anger. She was then put into an alternative school. I had to have her graduate early due to the bullying. Due to the hitting of the teacher, which I know was wrong. She was told she could not attend the senior prom, which was heartbreaking. Due to the bullying she has been hospitalized 5 times. She is now 20. She has never dated, had a boyfriend, and has no social life. She goes to therapy 2 times a week and her pscy. doctor once a month. She cannot get a job. What am I to do with her now. The bullying has ruined her life.

  15. Maria says:

    I was bullied all my life ,it is painful ,it kills your self steem forever,we have to stop this ! it is a crime ,I can’t believe this woman got not jail sentence ,after her neighbor daughter hang herself she took another name and make the girl killed herself ,why is not crime in this paticular situation? the girl is gone ad thisl old woman is out of jail and living close to the girl’s house?sh should be in jail for ever she killed this girl.I hope you remember the show I am talking about …anyone who contribute someone to commit suicide because the bullyng should be account for a crime .Period! if the law gets stronger we will finally stop this terrible action it is crime not matter wha! ….

  16. Jennifer Frey says:

    I was bullied from the time I entered elementary school and it continued through high school, I have cerebral palsy that makes me walk a little different then the others and they used that as there advantage plus my last name being Frey they called me every fried food under the sun and more. there were times that I threatened the kill myself but then again once I calmed down I realized that if I were to do that I would be giving in to what they were doing. I didn’t have anyone to stand up for me and i had to do what was right and that was to barricade myself in my room and withdraw from others and that’s because I didn’t want anyone to know how bad it was or I didn’t want to tell the ones that were putting the blame back on me instead of looking at the whole situation

  17. joanb says:

    These people that are cyberbullying should be fined. If they are minors then their parents should be fined. We all know that when the law wants to trace where someting came from, they are well equipped to do so.

  18. Dolores Reando says:

    I am 80 years old, have 12 grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. I am going to parenting classes to help raise this generation in the right way. I want to know if it is possible to set up a place for grandparents and great grandparents to go because there are many, many of them raising the next generation. I am with you all the way and would like to help if I can. Thank you.

  19. Vaudis Pennell says:

    Thank you for your program Dr. Phil. I am a grandparent – 84 years old – and remember a young man in the 5th grade hanging himself in the school closet.
    I was accused of stealing jacks and a ball in the first grade, a pencil in the second grade and $.50 cents in the fourth grade – the bully hung me upside down to shake the money he said I had, he tore the pocket on my jacket and can’t remember anyone coming to my assistance. Later I was snowballed in all directions while crossing the play ground on my way home. BUT, I never forgot.
    We are long overdue handling this problem.
    (I went to 12 schools in 11 years so figured I was the new kid in town?) Raising my own children I saw kids who were wearing braces because they had polio knocked down on the school playground . My disabled daughter wore a leg brace and neighborhood kids were continually playing tricks on her. I had to take her out of school, and obtain a home teacher to keep her safe. No one was ever around to help….A grandson was beat up on the high school grounds. ON and ON.
    Have messaged my two senators but could use a bill number to push this legislation harder. Thanks so much and please keep at it.

  20. TJ says:

    I have yet to deal with cyber-bullying. We don’t allow our kids on Facebook or other social networks. However we have had trouble with school bullies over the years. My child has been verbally abused for weight issues, good grades, teachers pet, general looks including clothing. Last year he was having balls thrown at him on the playground, punches, rocks thrown at him and had another child wipe his sweaty genitals on him. My husband and I are disgusted with the amount if help his teacher supplied. We went to the principal and not much luck there. Horse play is what they say. They talked to the parents of the said bully. Finally after the genitals inccident, the teacher was fed up and told me the child was no longer welcome in the class. Well this was the week before the last week of school. The child was suspended until the principal returned the following week. The child was allowed to come back to class. We were very upset. This boy basically assaulted my son as well as 2 other boys. Is this not considered a sexual abuse case, even at the age of 11? Disgusting. The first day of school is approaching and we are nervous about this kid being in his class again. We live in a small community, small school, so there is no option for a different class. We are hoping, since the bully is inter-distrect, that he will have been moved to another school. Until that first day we will be unsure. I have even threatened taking my son to another school, but it’s not fair to him. He is an excellent student and he deserves to go to HIS school. We have this teacher again next year and hope that there are no problems with our daughter. We have heard other accounts of constant bullying in her class. Every year with no support. Great!! I am a volunteer parent, and will just make my presence known. My kids come first. I will be there and have my voice heard. Thanks for this campaign. I am a BIG supporter!!!

  21. I am a Soul Care Pastor in Jefferson Georgia and I sit and talk to kids all the time about peer pressure, depression, self-harm, and bullying. Before I went into ministry full time I was a Behavior Modification Specialist for several Outdoor Therapeutic Placements and I worked closely with Social Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice and I know for a fact that if the things reportedly said on your show to this girl were said “out loud” in the schools, one child to another, that would be considered a terroristic threat and the student that was doing the bullying would be suspended if not expelled and possibly face charges. I know the point was that what happens off campus isn’t under the schools jurisdiction but come on these kids are defiantly sending some of these posts while at school either from a phone, or a school computer. My question and frustration is why aren’t these kids being prosecuted? Especially the ones who bully unto death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Signed a outraged parent and pastor <

  22. Dear Governor Nathan Deal,

    My name is Pastor Josh Jennings I am the Pastoral Counselor at Living Word Worship Center in Jefferson Georgia. I am writing you to express my concern for the condition of the youth of today. Recently it was brought to my attention that “Cyber Bullying” has become an epidemic that is having a devastating effect on our kids. I am a parent of two and though they are not yet of school age I do sit and council with teens and preteens on a daily basis who suffer with low self esteem, negative self images, depression, self mutilation, etc. The list is never ending and now, cyber bullying, is just one more tool available to kids to use to break down their peers. My personal opinion is that technology in the hands of cyber bullies is in fact, and should be considered a weapon of mass destruction! I sit and hear the stories of these kids who are tormented on a daily basis and unlike our generation it doesn’t end when they get off the school bus, it follows them home! It is our responsibility to do something about this to bring not only security to our schools but justice as well. In the past I have worked as a Behavior Modification Specialist for several of the best Outdoor Therapeutic Placements in the state of Ga. and I have worked with countless youth who were expelled and prosecuted due to threatening verbally their peers as well as teachers and they were placed in the juvenile justice system as a result of their actions. I am asking you as our Governor to step up and make Cyber Bullying a prosecutable offence in the state of Ga. Regardless if the bullying is done at home or at school it needs to be addressed, stopped, and dealt with because this is literally killing our kids. Cyber bullying has lead to numerous suicides in our schools across the nation and I am begging you to help Georgia step up and be a leader to the nation on this front! Thank you for your time.


    Pastor Joshua B. Jennings
    Living Word Worship Center

  23. L. Cardone says:

    Dr. Phill, I am so glad you are talking about bullying. I’m a retired teacher, and I think that sometimes we as teachers can help these children. The sad thing is that not all teachers help. What I mean is that as a teacher we can talk to the class about what is going on. As for me one of my rules was”never say anything bad about your classmates” if i heard something was going on, I would get to the situation! Put a stop to it! But not all the teachers do that, they look the other way. “It’s not my problem” Yes, it is your problem, those are your students! They need to feel free to ask us for help. It doesn’t take to much to comfort, give advice and show the students that you will be there to help. Advice to the bullied, I know it is easier said than done, but if you listen to their bullying or answer their emails you are giving them more power! Don’t let them know that it gets to you. Don’t answer, Block, ignore!!!

  24. Disney Fan says:

    I have seen some serious cyber bullying going on. Years ago, I was a member of a board called disboards.com. Unknowingly, there is another board that bullies its’ members. (check out “pudding girl”–poor thing was ridiculed for MONTHS)


    They belittle, pick on and make fun of people. It’s hurtful. It’s sad that these people call themselves human beings. Their excuse? “If it’s on the internet, it’s fair game”.

    Cyber bullying has to stop, Dr. Phil.

  25. Maggie says:

    I just think it’s sick what some of these kids and adults do to people over the internet. We have people killing or injuring themselves everyday over what has happened on the internet.

    So Dr. Phil thank you fro helping make everyone aware that cyberbullying or bullying in general is a serious thing!


  26. Charles J ODonnell says:

    I am a Grand Parent of 8 and i don’t want anything to happen to them for the rest of their life, I don’t need to be going to any Funerals in the near Future.

  27. Min says:

    Bullying MUST STOP!!! it is a menace in our society and I have seen it first hand when my son was very young, 5 yrs old and a boy bullied him for weeks perhaps. We would not have known but for this young cute girl in his class, one day she walks up to my husband and says that he was being bullied by this big kid. My husband looked for that kid that day but he had already left for the day. Next day when my husband went to pick our son, he went early and looked around for this bully. My husband is a big guy and people can’t mess with him, he walked up to this boy and said ‘hey, that kid there is my son, do you have a problem’, the kid ran away stating , I didn’t do anything, my son followed him and said, one more word about this and he will be sorry. After that my son never got bullied, Thanks to the little girl, she kept an eye on this and mentioned that the kid had stopped bullying all the kids.
    I am sorry, but the school and the care givers have rarely taken action so parents will take action because it is our MORAL AND PRIMARY responsibility is to protect our children.
    Again, I feel sorry for the bullies because they have high level of insecurity and self-esteem so they feel better (or so they think) by bullying others.

  28. sonia lowe says:

    my grandson faces bullying every day he has netherton syndrome which causes his face to look red and the skin to peel so he is teased by both adults and children as a parent you have to be on top of things you have to check out how your child is feeling and intervene as soon as possible my grandson who i parent does not suffer from depression and is generally in good mental health we openly discuss his feelings usually he comes home from school saying nanny today was the best day ever even if there have been incidents he feels enpowered to handle it.parents need to be advised about the warning signs and discuss the implications and consequenses with their children from the earliest age possible. im the director of a boy’s home in Jamaica west indies we have a zero tolerence policy in regard to bullying and that includes the staff.One staff member was enpowered to leave a very abusive relationship due to our discussions on bullying at the home. The residents here have suffered all forms of abuse and display bullying in all its forms education and counselling is the key and i believe that the parents of the perpertrators should be mandated to attend counselling with their children.my heart goes out to all the parents and victims.

  29. Anna says:

    To me values are the key point here, and these values need to be taught both in school and at home.
    Both parents and teachers need to work together in order to provide their children and students with the best education in values. Children need to know about what is right and what is wrong, and they should behave accordingly. So, bring up different issues at home and in class, and make children decide what they would do in certain situations.
    Teach them through real experiences and they will learn about values.

  30. Mikael says:

    I think it’s important not to put any blame or guilt on the children that gets bullied. The victim shouldn’t have to change or apologize for anything. He or she hasn’t done anything wrong.
    It’s crucial to let the bully know that his or her behavior will not be tolerated and that the problem lies with the bully and not the victim.

  31. Ana says:

    As a teacher, in my point of view, to avoid bullying is essential to show the kids how powerful words are and how they can hurt somebody else’s feelings. The role of parents and teachers is very important. Also, the bullies should be conscious of how a person feels when he/she is being bullied. In my opinion, this is a very serious problem, that should be treated in all levels and indirectly encourage students to tell somebody else if they feel they are being treated badly.

  32. XX_Negz_XX says:

    i’ve been a victum of bullying all though my short time in high school. at one school i was asaulted by a teacher when she squessed my rist because i bumbed into her after being pushed. everyday i would be pushed into lockers, people would pick on be because i would push my cheat out when i walked because i wanted it to look like my back was straight (i have a desese in my spine), i would be hit, kicked and threatened. i got kicked out of one school for fighting back, a guy hit me so i hit him back i know it was wrong but after he hit me 2 more guys held me against my locker as he hit me again, all up i have been to 3schools im at my 4th school now. my last school i was bullyed because i was diffrent, i dressed diffrent, talked diffrent and i was diffrent alltogher. i was htere for a mounth i was called lezo, fat, ugly, a slut untill someone took it to far and pushed me down to the ground then kicked me so i left and moved back home. i get bullyed online and in the street just because im not skinny im not pritty and i don’t take peoples crap. i have cut myself because of being bullyed. bullying is all over the world and where i live (somewere in austrlia) its really bad. if you put i hair-tie in your tee to make it fit you then you get abused, tormented. teens are crule and so are adults. bullying is never ok! i have thought about suicide but i have gret family sapourt and i have the need to fight back and let people know they are never alone when it comes to bullying..

  33. Pat Lyon says:

    My heart goes out to the mother who’s 13 yr old killed herself. REALLY! Being dissed on a social network is much worse than your friends turning their backs on you like the old days. It involves the entire world!

  34. marcia mcduff says:

    omg I cant believe how bad and serious this really is. I thought bullying at school was bad my daughters and myself have been victims of this and know how it feels and how it affected us, but cyber bullying wow!!!!! I found out that adults can also have this happen because i had someone bullying me and Iam 36 years old. It was someone who I didnt even know, it wasn’t extreemly bad but bad enough to the point of calling the cops,changing my name and account on facebook, deleteing her, blocking her and changing my phone number. thanks

  35. Steven Swartz says:

    I know how it feels to be bullied. When I was a child I went through it for years from strangers,family,and classmates. It tore me up and I still cant forget,but can forgive. When I got a tad bigger I started whipping tail and got most off of me,at least to my face. I was called Big Ears,Mr Spock,Fore Eyes,Dumbo,Squash Head,Baldy,Stinky,Retard,and Fat. Also made fun of because of my teeth being in bad shape. Once I started fighting for myself,I would help others that were going through the same torment and bulling that could not or would not fight back. To this day I have low self esteem, not much confidence in my self and feel like a loner/unwanted. I wanted to kill myself,but with no help but from God 1st and my own strength fought through that part,and was not very easy. I still feel down to this day at times and try to remind myself I made it and others have it even worse and I need to stay strong to help everyone I possibly can who may not be strong as have been.

  36. Dr Phil,
    The reason people won’t get involved and try to stop bullying is that the bully and all his friends will go after the one trying to stop it. I tried to stop it one time and never again. Telling the school would get the hell beat out of me many times by them. Outside of school and in school.

  37. joey silva says:

    I loved the show on bullying. My son has been bullied for years. It has gotten worse this year as he started middle school. Most of the teachers and administration are supportive. However, as stated by Dr.Susan Lipkins, to shut out and stand your ground and even defend yourself is not an accurate depiction of what happens in the school. If you have several students that back up the bully are “witnesses” they tell different stories in addition to if my son were to shout out to leave him alone it makes the situation worse. I get involved and it makes the situation worse. If he defends himself, he is in ISS and OSS. There is a zero tolerance policy and if my son lays a hand on another student it does not matter that it was out of self defense or tired of the bullying as he says, ” I have no choice he has to know he can’t mess with me.” The kids are left with few choices in the reality of the situation. My son has previous medical conditions that have made him who he is that is not accepted, picked on, and has no impulsiveness control. You confront him and pick on him he reacts. No thought just action. The next thing you know he is in trouble, most of the time not the other student. The cycle continues. I was also bullied as a child so watching him causes my soul to ache and want to hurt or yell at these bullies myself. I’m so tired of this!!!!!

  38. Karen says:

    Dear Dr. Phil…I just finished watching the monster in law second show. Who does this woman think she is fooling. I have to say that if she would simply keep her mouth shut for a while maybe she would actually hear someone else. I feel very sorry for her daughter. The mother claims to be protecting her daughter and not realizing that she is hurting her every time she yells at her daughter’s husband. The day that the daughter said “I do” is the day she became a wife . When the mother calls the husband names she is hurting not helping her daughter. There always comes a day when we as mothers have to realize that our children must now go and live the life that they are meant to live not the one we want them to live. I believe the best thing this lovely young couple could do is move as far away as possible until they can establish their own little family and home…Once they do that then slowly allow the monster in law to be a small part of that life. It is time for the monster to pull back the claws and respect her daughter’s choice. She is a grown woman and she has a mind of her own. It is time to get out of her parent’s home . I don’t usually write to shows but this is the second time I find myself writing to you. Your show is always thought provoking and I enjoy your show and your style. I believe that you do help people. This woman however is NOT listening to you or anyone because her voice is far to loud. She can’t hear anyone else. God bless you for keeping your patience with this person. Keep up the good work and God bless you. Karen

  39. Sabra Burns says:

    The scariest type of bullying I experienced growing up was at home, by my brother. He was a foot taller than me, and weighed a hundred pounds more. It was especially frightening because my mother (my only parent at home) seemed pretty “blind” to it, though she wasn’t at all blind to me when I tried to stand up for myself. Then, I was “out of line.”
    There are millions of families like this, where there is abuse, and that abuse is generally concentrated on one child. Dave Pelzer’s books, beginning with A Child Called It, illustrate this dynamic. It frightens me terribly and makes me feel terribly alone that I haven’t seen this type of bullying addressed on television. Dr. Phil, we need your help.

  40. ciara reale says:

    dr phil im so upset about the mother of the child (kristof)….i hope someone does something…i know people here in ireland with soooo much love to give and have to wait four years or more to adopt a child….how did she get these boys…..i came from an abusive home and i swore i would never let my children ever feel the way i did….i cant explain how upsetting it is…

  41. Danielle says:

    Bullying must be stopped. There needs to be much more serious consequences. It’s heart wrenching to see children as young as 11 commit suicide because they have been bullied relentlessly. I’m 17 and I am in high school. It’s horrible what children are capable of in this day and age. I have witnessed multiple accounts of bullying. Cyber bullying included. I don’t understand how ANYONE* could do such a thing. I am very anti-bullying. I’ve reported multiple cases of cyber-bullying. Bullying hurts. I used to be bullied and it shot my self-esteem. We need to spread the word about the severity of bullying. Dr.Phil, I idolize you. I love the work you do. I watch your show absolutely every day I can. You’re definitely a role model for me. I love that bullying is a close subject to your heart, and that you are fighting to bring the harsh reality of it into the spot light. No one should ever have to feel like they are not good enough. No one should ever feel as if no one likes them or no one cares if they die. No one should ever feel ugly. Bullying has become a serious problem. It needs to be stopped!

  42. Jessica says:

    Hi, My name is Jessica. I’m in high school and through out my school year’s i seen it all and been through it all. I stay in trouble hafe the time in school because if i see bullying happening i will be the first to step in if the teachers dont. Hafe the time teachers dont see it beacuse students these days go to bathrooms, cell phones, internet, and even sometimes infrount of the teach but in ways the teacher believes is joking around. i been bullied through school till 9th grade. Now i stick up for myself MORE than i did befor.

  43. Jessica says:

    I got into a fight in 6th grade beacuse my friend started bullying another girl beacuse she was different. I also got kicked out my last high school beacuse three girls where ganging up on me and i stood up. Its childish and parents need to stand up for once. Go to school take our place these’s days see if you can make it 1 day without thoughts going through the mind!

  44. Lisa says:

    It’s weird but my first bully was my dad for a number of years. After I got to middle school I had only one real friend and of course there were the stoners. I was harrassed by this one girl because she thought she was all that and she wanted attention. It’s funny thought that even with all her friends around they left me alone and only she harrassed me. They didn’t join in. But she was still popular. Then in high school I was the weird girl. I hung out with the stoners and the GSA kids and even there I didn’t fit in. I can’t even defend myself and I didn’t finish high school. And I was in and out of the hospital by 17. I will never go back to the hospital no matter what happens to me. I feel better knowing I am not alone in this. That there are others going through that. It sounds horrible but at least I know I am not alone. That people survived this. That they are so strong.
    It helps when I struggle to find something worth fighting for. I hope Im strong too.

  45. Jim Huetson says:

    I wish that the young people who have written to this subject didn’t have to. I do not know what it will take to halt most bullying. I am writing to this because I read that the powers that be have given the documentary “Bully” an “R” rating. As a victim of extreme bullying this enrages me.

    I was born with icthyosis. It appeared as black kernels or scales on my stomach, chest, upper arms, and legs but worst upon my stomach. I first was aware that I was different than other children when the kids in my Sunday school and the neighborhood started making fun of me calling me “fish skin”. I learned later in life that the reason my dad would not take me into the tent occupied by the “ALLIGATOR BOY” at the circus was because the alligator boy, a freak, had exactly what I had. Most of the time I dressed in a manner to conceal my ichthyosis. I used the common name of “fish skin” when talking about it. On one occasion a close friend and a group of the other neighborhood boys began chasing me chanting “fish skin” and pelting me with rocks. At one point I fell down and while on the ground lay very still, hoping that one of them would come close enough to allow me to let me grab him. If I could grab one I wanted to kill him! I wanted to rip off his ears, dig out his eyes and hurt him in any way that I could and get rid of him. On another occasion I was patrolling a school crossing as a crossing guard. I was very proud of having been selected for that job. They gave mea white belt that went around my waist and over one shoulder with a badge on it and a red flag to stop traffic with. Two Indian girls, both bigger than I was, came up to me. One held me while the other beat on me. Actually, I was discovering that the people who treated me best were the handicapped and the orphans from the local orphanage. I never told my parents about the anguish caused by the way the other kids treated me. Children simply were not allowed to complain in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

    On April 20, 1999 I was on a trip through Texas when the news of the Columbine Massacre came over the TV at our Motel. I turned to my traveling companion and said, “The shooters were probably victims of bullying”. The bullying I lived through left me with an inner rage that I have lived with for over 70 years. I have lived in extreme fear of myself knowing that at any time I can respond to bullying, whether personal or observed, in a stupid and extreme manner. This is rage, not anger. Anger management could not contain the rage should it overcome me. The only response when its beginning heat appears is to leave the situation immediately. I have lived and continue to live day by day without harming anyone under God’s Grace.

  46. Amanda Sherrill says:

    I was bullied as a child but it was nothing like it is today. I have a 9 year old in the forth grade who is bullied almost everyday. It’s sad that these kids are being taught that this is ok because it’s what they have seen our heard from their parents or guardians. I have taught my son to love everyone, no matter how bad they treat you. But at the same time, it is hard to love, or even like someone that makes your life a living hell. Our children should not know what bullying even means. This is a cycle that we should have broken before it started. Truth be known, it probably started by someone that was so insecure in their own life that they had to bring someone else down with them. We as parents need to stop the cycle by “killing it with kindness.”

  47. Judy says:

    Hi Dr Phil
    My Daughter is a senior in high school. She is bullied in school everyday. The vice principle says he is trying to help her, but he really isn’t. He called the girls into his office and told them what my daughter said and , now it is worse. They think it is a joke. I have to call her out of that class everyday, because of the name calling, the pushing you name it. The Principle would like me to switch her to another class! Why should she be penalized~ she did nothing wrong. Now the problem has moved to Facebook and the vice principle tells me I have to call Facebook and discuss it with them….I’m sick of this. I can’t wait till school is over. By the way the parents of the girls think this is also a joke, that girls are just being moody…….. yeah right. If my daughter was the bully you can bet I would put the hammer down. This is NOT A JOKE!!!!!!!

  48. vince says:

    October 25th, 2010, that was then this is now September 24th 2012, the case went to court last summer i think, and the kid got off with a slap on his wrist, because he was a foreign student, they said he could be kicked out of America and never allowed to come back, but he was not, not much justice for the victims family was it.

  49. Baboucarr says:

    bullying is really bad here. this year i had to cfoornnt a teacher who was encouraging her students to bully my six-year-old son as revenge for him being the class clown. it gets worse as they get to high school. this town has a culture of bullying, and it makes me sick. i’ve had people say to homeschool or send them to private school, but that doesn’t solve anything. some other kid will just be bullied in there place. it’s so wrong. and it isn’t always easy to stick up for yourself. but it’s just got to stop. kids are cruel- sure. but as adults it’s our jobs to reprimand the cruelty- not encourage it.i seriously thought that society had become more open-minded than this.

  50. RickT says:

    While I was in school, I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t bullied. I guess I thought I was just like every other child in my class but to others, I guess I was different. As a small child I was a bit of a sissy and I was never good at sports or anything of that nature. My father was a hard working man who was not into sports so I never had anyone to really teach me anything about those types of activities. I was a Mama’s boy. I still have a lot of pent up emotion about how I was treated in school. I’ve never been to any class reunions, I’m not friends with anyone from my graduating class, on any of the social networking sites. After I graduated high school, I pretty much tried to leave all those memories there so that I could start a new life but those memories still find a way back into my mind at times. The one thing I worry about, concerning bullying and all of these killings that are in the news recently, is the question….”Was bullying involved?”
    I’ve been out of high school for 30 years and I know how I felt then. I’m not making excuses for any of the killers but everyone should be thinking….. Was there a possibility that they were bullied and that this could be the cause for their terrible ends. Kids need to be taught that their bullying may not just effect the person they are bullying but it could lead to something terrible in the future. I’m not a killer but I still have pent up emotions from the way I was treated then and it seems so much more wore with today’s teens that it could have a far more effect on them later. I’m so glad that I don’t have any children that are growing up in today’s society. Kids are not taught that there are consequences for their actions. Everyone has their own opinion but to me, today’s kids are growing up with a feeling of entitlement and they don’t have to work for anything, it’s just given to them. Think back to a few decades ago, to the 70’s & 80’s….. There were not these same kind of killings going on. There were some acts done by some crazy individuals about religion and other beliefs but not kids killing other kids. People can think what they want to think about “Whipping a Child” but I feel that it does a child’s butt good to learn there are consequences for actions and “Time Out” ain’t gonna get it.
    My parents got their butts torn up if they did wrong and I’ve gotten mine torn up too and it’s made me the Man that I am today so that I know right from wrong and how people should be treated. I’m not talking about beating a child out of hate or frustration. My parents had a “Board of Education” and I knew what it was for and I knew what would happen if I did wrong and that’s all it took for me to know to do right. It’s my generation that are raising these killers so it’s gives you something to think about……

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