As a very young child, merely 3 years of age, Bethany Thompson has been diagnosed with brain cancer, what must have been devastating news for the family. But they have all battled through radiation therapy, and, in 2008, the child has been proclaimed a cancer survivor and cancer-free. She has overcome the worst that could ever happen to someone so young, hasn’t she? Bethany’s school mates didn’t think so.
|SEE ALSO: DID BULLYING CAUSE HER SUICIDE?|
Though completely cured, the brain tumor damaged a nerve that left Bethany with a “crooked” smile. And instead of praising the bravery and the strength it must have taken the young cancer survivor to beat the disease, she was bullied relentlessly at school, something that majorly affected her self-esteem and self-image. And though her story was known by her classmates, that didn’t seem to make any difference for the abusers. Bethany then saw a school council to help her cope with the emotional toll of bullying, and she did have the support of friends. Nevertheless, on the 19 of October, it has all become too much. Bethany and her friends have worked on preparing posters of anti-bullying slogans. They wanted to hang them in school and they had taken them to the administrators who then informed them that the posters couldn’t be used. Bullying is a an acknowledged problem in the Triad school system, but apparently no one could accurately estimate how grave it was to let the bullies do what they do until it has come to the tragic end.
On the same day, and on her way back home, Bethany told her best friend that she couldn’t take it anymore and was going to end her life. Later that afternoon, the best friend’s father called Bethany’s mother to warn her, but it was already too late. Bethany had found a gun kept, and according to the parents hidden, in the house, and had shot herself once.
The six-grader, a sweet generous lover of animals and music, who hasn’t seen much of life yet had taken the decision to see no more due to persistent verbal abuse and emotional bullying that left her with no hope for a better future. It is hopefully obvious, for all parents and school officials, that bullying is no longer the typical kids-being-kids teasing. It doesn’t strengthen character or toughen a child up. Bullying, like cancer, can literally kill.