This is a story that I came across while on FB recently. It really broke my heart to pieces, so I decided to write about it.
**Before I was set to publish Madison’s story, I learned of McKenzie’s story, another 9-year-old young lady that took her life a couple days ago. 😦
My prayers and condolences go out to Madison- and McKenzie’s families, friends, school communities, and everyone that was affected by their passing.
Birmingham, AL: A 9-year-old girl named Madison had been bullied at school for awhile. She came home one day and learned that she and her mom were about to spend some time together at her favorite restaurant, so she was excited.
Before they left, Madison received a call from her friend while her mom was busy doing some other quick things. Her mother went to call for Madison, no answer. Her mother went to look for her, couldn’t find her… until she checked her daughter’s closet. That’s where she found Madison hanging and unresponsive while the friend still on the phone.
Her mother and the school officials were aware of the bullying and even made attempts to stop it, but unfortunately they were unsuccessful.
The article also mentions that Madison had suffered from previous bouts of suicidal thoughts via new medication. She was bullied in school b/c of her mental health diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A Closer Look:
Okay… I want to first acknowledge that this mother found her child hanging in her own closet WHILE she was in the home. In another room of the same house at the same time her daughter chose to follow through with her suicide.
Let that sink in…
Her 9-year-old daughter committed suicide while her mother was in another room, in the same house. I cannot imagine how this 9-year-old must have felt to carry out her plan in that moment.
Whatever that friend told Madison was part of the catalyst to her going through with this. No, I am not blaming her friend. I am simply stating that whatever the friend said caused Madison to believe that the only way to make everything stop or make the pain go away, was suicide.
This whole story makes me very sad. 😦
Yes, the child was on medication for her ADHD, but why wasn’t her depression addressed as well. Imagine how this child must have felt about herself to be constantly teased and picked on for something that was out of her control.
I think if the child was seeing a therapist about her depression issues, it could have helped prevent this incident. Awareness and education are key!
No, I am not blaming the mother or anyone else for this tragic incident. I am just pointing out that Madison’s cry for help and the previous attempts to ease the bullying tensions could have added the extra step of having Madison see a therapist about her depression.
How do I know that Madison was depressed? B/c she had previous suicidal thoughts and was even in the hospital to help manage them. We all know that suicidal thoughts and depression have a very strong link to one another. Links: here, here, and here.
Someone on FB said and I loosely quote, “…the problem is when children leave school, the bullying or harassment continues. Whether it’s through social media [chatrooms, FB, Snapchat, IG, and Twitter]. Text messages. Phone calls. They don’t get a break from the constant verbal and psychological abuse. It follows them home.”
This is very, very true. Why? B/c it followed this child home.
It’s truly unfortunate. 😦
A Rant in my Spirit:
I have a question…
What are we teaching children at school and at home about bullying and the effects of bullying on other students?! I mean, seriously… I want to know!
Why do these children think it’s okay to endlessly and relentlessly harass other students?! That is not okay!!!
Our children are killing themselves at increasingly higher rates! We are losing our children! The very same children that are our future.
I think the problem of bullying starts at home. Where else are these children learning to bully others? Whether they are being bullied by their own parents, older siblings, other children, whoever… it starts there.
Questions is… how do we stop it b/c until we can stop it at home, it will continue in school.
Parents send their children to school for an education. The teachers, principal, and other school officials are supposed to ensure that the learning environment is safe for learning, right?
I just… whew! I am just sad.
I am sad b/c this young lady could have been an athlete, a computer whiz, a teacher, traveled the world, gotten married, started her own business… she had her whole life in front of her.
But… she didn’t even survive elementary school. Elementary school! That’s a problem. A pressing problem that continues to take the lives of our children.
This is something that needs attention, education, and awareness. Now!
Maybe restructure some things in order to better tackle the importance of students reporting these incidents to school officials, parents, or other adults. Maybe a new approach. An app on their phones. A button for a direct line to police. A special task force. Something.
I don’t know. Something has got to change b/c what we are currently doing just doesn’t seem to be enough.
Once again, my condolences to Madison- and McKenzie’s families, friends, school communities and everyone else that was affected by their unexpected passing.
How will or did you approach the topic of bullying with your child/ren? Comment below.