Friday, April 6, 2012

Bullying Is A Crime

Since losing his son to suicide nine years ago, John Halligan has devoted his life to spreading the anti-bullying message. He believes that telling his son’s story will encourage bullies to stop what they are doing. Most bullies bully others because they think it is funny or simply because a person is different. Halligan believes that if they realized that their actions were actually driving people to take their own lives, bullies would be less likely to engage in bullying behavior.

John Halligan’s son, 13-year-old Ryan, was a bully victim for over two years. His tormentors made fun of him, physically assaulted him, and even spread untrue rumors that he was gay. John Halligan says that Ryan often hid in the bathroom to avoid his bullies. Ryan’s family never knew how emotionally damaged he was until they found his lifeless body in his bedroom. Ryan’s father never suspected his son was at any risk of committing suicide. It was not until he read the messages in Ryan’s AOL Instant Messenger Account that he understood what his son was experiencing.

John Halligan’s story is becoming far too common these days. More despondent kids are beginning to use suicide as a means of escaping their tormentors. We can no longer allow this to continue happening. Bullying has become a very serious issue over the last several years. Unless adults take a stand, kids like Ryan will continue being bullied. Both schools and law enforcement need to become stricter with the ways in which they discipline acts of bullying. Bullying is a crime and it should be treated as such!

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