Another tragic waste of a young life

DEBORAH COLEMAN

Published 06/11/2012 | 10:09

THE DEATH of 13 year old Erin Gallagher last week was another complete waste of a young life. Driven to suicide by vicious cyber bullies, the young teenager is now the second young Irish girl die in these circumstances in as many months.

This begs the question-when are the authorities going to sit up and take notice of what is happening here?

Bleating about how this shouldn't have happened is simply not enough to change the terrifying situation we find ourselves in.

These deaths should not be in vain. They should serve as the stark and disturbing warning of the power of cyber bullies and just how much damage they can cause.

These precious young lives should not have been cut so short, and action must be taken to prevent further cases.

It is a horrendous fact of life today that such a disgusting form of bullying exists but is is an unavoidable facet of society that has been bred by advances in technology.

It is most likely impossible to be able to eradicate all sorts of bullying and victimisation that occurs online simply because some users seem oblivious to the seriousness of their actions.

What we need is education. Sounds simple doesn't it? However complex it might be to create awareness about this sort of behaviour it would be a real way of helping matters.

If young people were made aware that this is a common occurrence they would be much better versed in how to deal with it.

Parents always try and equip their children about how to cope with schoolyard bullying and this should be no different.

Giving young people powerful and adequate coping mechanisms would be a positive step in empowering them to spot the signs of online bullying and in turn hopefully understand that support is available to them.

The emergence of such bullying has knocked everyone for six, parents, teachers and of course the many many teenagers who at any stage could become a victim.

The infuriating fact is that websites such as Ask.fm, the ridiculous forum where Erin Gallagher and Ciara Puglsey were driven to take their own lives are not being held accountable.

Where lives are concerned the responsibility clearly cannot be left up to immoral outfits such as this to police service users so it falls to families to do so.

Even this week as Erin Gallagher was laid to rest a group of Ask.fm members enjoyed a lively debate about her death as if it was akin to someone breaking their leg.

Their flippant remarks and abusive tones clearly showed how this forum facilitates a disconnect from what is happening in the real world.

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