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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/29/13) – Statistics are showing that bullying has become a serious issue across the United States. According to statistics, there is a strong link between bullying and suicide.

According to a Yale University study and ABC News, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. Bully victims are between 2-9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. Those that are 10-14 year old are at a higher risk for suicide. Thirty percent of students are either bullied or a victim of bullying. About 160,000 kids stay home each day from school because of their fear of being bullied.

Depending on the type of bullying, bully-related suicide can be connected to physical, emotional, cyber bullying and sexting. Some regions have more problems with bullying and suicide than others. Many people still look at bullying as “just part of being a kid.” However, this problem is leading to a negative effect on victims such as suicide.

“There are problems with bullying everywhere, but we have a real big problem here in our county too,” stated Karen Kurtz of Hawkins Auto Body & Paint.

Back in October 2012, a young girl named Dorothy Boone took her life because of the embarrassment bullying caused her. She had a rough start to life but she was adopted by the loving Boone family at an early age. Dorothy struggled throughout her life with people picking on her. Dorothy had been bullied on the bus and at school. She had also been bullied through text messages and Facebook.

In honoring her, the Grapevine Baptist Church and family started a program called “Dorothy’s Christmas Wish” which provides Christmas to families who struggle to buy presents for their kids and donations are taken year round.

It is important as parents to be able and sit down and talk to kids about bullying and the consequences that come with it. Parents provide their children with cell phones and computers, which should be monitored closely. It is a parent’s responsibility to make sure that these devices are used for good and not a tool to hurt someone.

The Hopkins County School Board approved forming an ADHOC Committee to look into the policies for the school system concerning bullying and the punishment and consequences, and the right procedures on how to report an incident.

“There will be a booth at the last Friday Night Live in downtown Madisonville to help get the awareness out about the dangers of kids today and being bullied,” expressed Kurtz. “There will be free stop bullying back to school notebooks available too at the booth.”

Hawkins Auto Body & Paint wrote a letter to the public and in this letter it stated, “Hawkins Auto Body & Paint is a proud supporter of the Hopkins County DARE Program. We were honored to be able to sponsor the new paint scheme on the local DARE car. We at Hawkins Auto Body & Paint firmly believe in giving back to the community who has supported us for the last 26 years. We hope bringing awareness to the bullying issues we are facing in our community will help make changes to stop this problem.”

For more information about Dorothy’s Christmas Wish you can visit the Grapevine Baptist Church located on 85 Sandcut Road or call their office at (270)821-5117.

Amber Mena
SurfKY News
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