Seventeen-year-old Jaclyn Daughtery committed suicide last week and the community says its a direct result of cyberbullying.
The Butler County, Kentucky native loved to read, listen to music, play softball, and spend time with her family. Family friends told the media that Jaclyn was not the type of person to take her own life. “She didn’t know who to turn to, I guess, and I know that she was being cyberbulllied. There were a lot of mean horrible things being said about her. She was a sweet loving girl and didn’t deserve any of it,” family friend, Sherry Kirby told the media.
Unfortunately this is not Butler County’s first suicide alledgedly related to cyberbullying. Last September, fourteen-year-old, Zakry Adkins lost his life after playing the choking game. According to Zakry’s mom, he was found with a belt around his neck and was also the cause of cyberbulling. According to community members, a third boy who was still in middle school also took his own life within the last year.
In my line of work I hear and see way too many stories where young people are taking their lives due to cyberbullying. These children are dying too young and will never have the opportunity to reach their full potential. My thoughts and prayers go out to yet another family that is forced to continue life without their daughter and friend. According to Jaclyn’s Facebook Page her favorite quotation is, “our fingerprints dont fade from the lives we’ve touched.” I’m sure for Jaclyn’s family, memories of this beautiful young girl, will never fade.
Tips to keep your child safe online:
1. Have the Conversation. Even if you feel it cannot happen to your child, have the conversation about cyberbullying. Speak with your child about what to do if they feel they are being bullied and make sure they understand that you there to offer them a “safe place.” If your child believes they are being cyberbullied, encouage them to: Tell you immediately, Speak with another adult, Report it to their teacher and/or School Administrator. Encourage them to “never” keep it to themselves.
2. Talk, Live, Be – Self-Esteem. Our children should understand that just because someone says something negative about them does not make it true. Having Self-Esteem and knowing their self-worth, can literally save our children from some of the “cyber-heartache.” It’s not enough to “tell” them to love and believe in themselves, we must show them in our daily walk. Our children are watching our behavior and taking their “cues” from the way we conduct ourselves.
3. Monitor your child’s online activity. The number one way to keep our children safe online is through communication and monitoring their activity is a close second. Some adults call it “spying,” I call it being concerned. Get in their business..They will thank you later.Photo courtesy of Beech Tree News