My friend Lauren sent me this link from HuffPo, about a high school student who is taking a rather extreme stance on bullying. Frustrated by the lack of administration response to what she sees as a failure to act in response to complaints about a particular bully in her school, she posted a note to Reddit stating that she would end her life.
This extreme measure seemed to have worked. The publicity from the general media, as well as individuals taking the time to respond to her and the school have apparently caused action. In an addendum to her original post, she writes:
“ I feel amazing knowing that even if people dislike me for it, I stood up for my own safety. I have a ton of support- both from you guys and my friends. Thank you everyone who sent an email (they kept mentioning some guy from Montana). There is no need anymore to contact the school or the county about this issue. I will be checking in every morning with the counselor, and she will give me a pass to see her if I ever feel like I’m being harassed over the next few days. You guys made this all happen overnight and sped up the process ten-fold! I don’t think I can say thank you enough for helping me, and everyone else, finally deal with the school cyber bully. I love you, Reddit!!!”
Although this outcome pleases me — follow up to a well-documented bullying complaint, the Reddit poster seemingly no longer suicidal, this scenario leaves me feeling uneasy. Are we to find her actions/statement parallel to a hunger strike? As an attention seeker? Would she really have killed herself to stand up against bullying? Thankfully, we will not know the answer. This time.
What are your thoughts on taking such extreme action?