Jasmyn Smith, 11-years-old, Death by Suicide
According to her family and friends, 11-year-old Jasmyn Smith had endured a year and a half of being heavily bullied, both at school and online. According to the school superintendent:
…he didn’t know of any bullying with Smith. But kids at the school say the bullying can be pretty bad.
“But, kids at the school say the bullying can be pretty bad.” If “kids at the school…” are telling you this, why isn’t more being done to prevent it? How is it that 11-year-old Jasmyn Smith can endure 18 months of bullying that was so intense, she felt the only way to make it stop was to end her life? Sadly, the beat goes on. Young people are being bullied daily, regularly – both at school, and at home through cyberbullying – and no one can figure out a solution that will help keep these young people alive.
There are some who advocate that bullying, in and of itself, DOES NOT lead to suicide, that it can be a contributing component that leads up to the suicide, that usually there are other, underlying issues that play into the actual event, such as mental health issues. In fact, I’ve heard from several families and friends of recent suicide victims, ones that I’d written about in this blog, who vehemently denied that bullying was what led to the event. From my own knowledge and experience, I know that the suicide that led me to get involved in this anti-bullying, teen suicide awareness/prevention campaign, that of Jamie Hubley, was one such case. The media reported bullying as the cause. However, I know with 100% certainty that that wasn’t the case. He had, indeed, endured some bullying because of his sexuality. However, it was depression that stole his life.
That said, bullying is still very much an issue. Whether it directly causes a suicide, which it DOES in some cases, or whether it turns out to be the “straw that broke the camel’s back”, it’s a major issue. It’s an issue that needs desperately to be handled swiftly and decisively. Yet, year-after-year, suicide-after-suicide, we hear the same standardized cop-out lines from the people who should be making a difference. People who CAN make a difference but, through their actions, are choosing not to.
Stories of the effects of bullying, including suicide, are in the news and online daily. Literally. Daily. There is absolutely no way possible for anyone to NOT know this is going on in our society and damage it’s causing. On the facebook blog page, there are stories daily about bullying and the effects. With it being in the news and online, and more, how is it that it’s still going on to the point where an 11-year-old girl feels her only way out is to end her precious, young life? Why isn’t more being done about the bullying issue? Why aren’t school officials taking a much more PROactive stance against bullying? Why are parents not teaching their children to not bully others? How many lives is it going to take before this issue is given more than lip service? Laws are on the books in some states, but that doesn’t matter. Policies are in place in many school districts, but that doesn’t matter. So, then, what is the answer? In the home. Starting with the parents. And, it has to start now. Too many lives are being lost for this to NOT be a top priority for everyone.
Her very emotional Sunday School teacher said of Jasmyn:
She was the type of child that every parent would love to have.
I’m sure she was. She was only 11-years-old. Life had barely even begun for her. Now, her family and friends must learn to live without her. Rest in peace, Jasmyn Smith.