Local Children and Teens Face Death Threats and Harassment
REGIONAL – Bullying is not uncommon among school aged children and teenagers but the effects can be more devastating than with past generations. Historically, bullies would target a fellow student in class which would sometimes result in street corner fights, leaving either the victim or the bully with a bloody nose. In many cases the bully and bullied would end up the best of friends once the bullied stood up for themselves. But today’s bullying has reached new heights and the pain and suffering inflicted on the victim goes well beyond the physical pain of a punch to the stomach.
Cyberbullying is nothing new but the level that some teens are taking their attacks has gone beyond name calling; in some recent cases, the bully has made death threats to the victim and even their families.
On Tuesday, Arlene Blankenship contacted RNRF regarding her 13-year-old daughter and provided screenshots of the terror that bullies have inflicted on her.
In Facebook messages sent by the fake profile “Alexia Heart,” one of many Blankenship says have been used to harass her daughter, states “You need to kill yourself… I’m going to beat the s**t out of you and watch the blood drip down your face.”
The bully goes on to say “I swear, I’m going to track you down and kill everyone in your house, including you. Who’s going to stop me? It seems like the cops are not going to do s**t.”
Blankenship contacted Pasco County Officials and she says they are actively investigating the threats.
Another woman provided screenshots of messages her 11-year-old daughter received, calling her a slut, whore, and trailer trash. She says the bully has been seen driving by their home but attempts to acquire a restraining order was denied by the courts.
The age restrictions on Facebook is rarely followed or enforced, leaving children under the age of 13 vulnerable to cyberbullying and unable to cope with the effects.
An estimated 7.5 million accounts may be held by children under the age of 13 and about 1 million of those have experienced some form of cyberbullying.
Suicide is one of the biggest concerns among parents with children who have experienced cyberbullying, and sources say approximately 1 in 10 have attempted suicide. 4500 kids commit suicide each year and ranks 3rd among teen deaths in the U.S.
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