Posts

Over the past two days, news stories of the “Momo Challenge” have been rapidly spreading through the media. This has led to much misinformation, unclear understanding and concerned parents, professionals and teachers as well as frightened children. 

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth 10-24 and the numbers are rising. You may have recently heard of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”

Working in a middle school, I often speak to youth who report being “bullied.” School counselors spend time looking at the scenarios and helping youth understand the difference between being rude, mean, and bullying.

I was recently interviewed by Elizabeth Hardison for the article, “Pennsylvania set up a tip line for school threats. Instead, students overwhelmingly called with mental health concerns.” When I was asked if I was surprised by the high level of mental health concerns being reported by students, I said I was not.

“Public shaming of children by adults happens and often by adults in positions of authority. I have seen it personally. When I see a post on my Facebook feed it’s called “public shaming”, and it’s design is to teach the child a lesson. But I wonder why we aren’t using different terminology and calling it what I believe it is, public bullying. I saw this most recent article about Izabel Laxamana, a 13 year old girl in Tacoma Washington who recently completed suicide days after being “publicly shamed” by her father. I’m not going to speculate on what led to her suicide, because I do not know the entire situation and don’t have all of the facts. But I will say that I believe that attempting to teach a lesson by making a video of you child or posting a picture on social media of a child holding an apology sign is not the best way to promote growth and responsibility. ~ Ryan”