Sticks and stones can break your bones but cyberbullying can kill you

EL PASO — Rudy Sanchez’ sad eyes peered through tears below the beanie that nearly covered them as he stood in the empty living room of his Lower Valley home where his 14-year-old daughter, Viviana Aguirre, had committed suicide after being bullied online by a friend. Sanchez, 43, described how Viviana went to bed the night of January 2and left one final message on her Facebook account. “Before I do this, thank you to all who tried to keep me up. But hey, it didn’t work. Bye.”

Although most cases of bullying don’t usually end in death, it is a growing and serious problem among students, experts say.

Bullying words in cyberspace hurt worse than sticks and stones

EL PASO, Texas — Advances in communication on the Internet lifted what once was school-yard bullying to a new mean-spirited high-tech level. The negative consequences of bullying have become a growing problem in schools around the world in the last 10 years, rising to a tragic level. Many victims feeling alone and without relief resort to acts of violence against those who hurt them or commit suicide. “Cyberbullying occurs when the victim is probably totally alone and thus, possibly more prone to reacting negatively, even to the point of suicide, as no one is there for him/her to talk to in person,” according to Dr. Don Combs, Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “Physical bullying, of course, creates the great possibility of physical harm, even death.

Bullying in schools can destroy young lives

EL PASO, Texas — Imagine walking down a hallway by yourself hearing people yelling insults at you and there is no way out except straight through the gauntlet. The words fat, gay, slut and loser are thrown at you, but you cannot get out. Each day brings the same suffering as the same people, with a few others chiming in, target you with the same verbal daggers. This is a reality that almost 30% of high school students in the United States face. Some are physically harmed, some are emotionally abused, and a growing number are bullied by “cyber bullies” through Internet networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.