On September 19, 2012 , 15-year-old Ciara Pugsley went to school as normal. But that evening, without any warning, she took her own life. After watching Ciara’s dad’s interview (below), I was compelled to share this story as a means of awareness to all parents.
According to Ciara’s parents the night before her death she played a football match and was looking forward to another match on Saturday. Ciara’s dad, Jonathan stated, “she seemed happy and just normal Cirara, so there was no indications that anything was wrong at all.”
After desperately searching for answers, the family discovered that Ciara was being cyber bullied via the website Ask.fm, which allows people to leave questions and comments for members. Ciara’s parents found that people left comments calling her ugly, fat and other disgusting things and suprisingly the website is still fully operational.
Ciara’s dad made a powerful statement, “If you’re at home and the door bell rings or someone knocks at the door and your son or daughter goes to open the door. They open the door and there is a person there. The person doesn’t have a name. Doesn’t have a face and yet they let them in to your house, in to your home, they let them in,” he described.
Ciara’s father has warned every parent to be on their guard. He is convinced that parents don’t understand the dangers their children are being regularly exposed to on the internet.
Even if you feel that your child is confident and that they have very high self-esteem, it is still essential to monitor their online behavior. Even the strongest child might believe what stranger say about them as in the case of Ciara. There are some sites that are simply not “child” friendly and your child should be directed to steer clear. I constantly tell my daughter that if it’s not uplifting or positive, it’s not worth your time.
Bottom-line: We must monitor our children’s online activity and get in their business – their lives could depend on it!