Cyberbullying #Pushes #Woodland High #School #Freshman to #Attempt #Suicide


WOODLAND — “Pretty crazy, hard, emotional.”
With brave, brief understatement, Lynzie Wilson described what this school year has been like before she dissolved into sobs.

She’s been crying some of those same tears for seven months.

That’s how long the Woodland High School freshman says some of her classmates have been bullying her. It’s even worse because some of her current tormentors were her middle school friends, people she hung out with just last summer.

Lynzie wanted to tell her story so it doesn’t become someone else’s.

For her, it happened with whispers in the hall, lipstick-written slurs about her virtue on school mirrors and mostly through slams on Instagram. Attack accounts labeled with a mix of her name and vulgarities have been created to insult parts of her body.

The 15-year-old said the bullying started with teasing about her having been molested by a now-convicted uncle.

It’s just kept getting worse.

“It made me feel really bad about myself,” she told FOX40. “Makes me feel like I’m not wanted or anything. Makes me feel like no one really cares for me or anything like that.”

After leaving school for four months, she returned in January but then tried to end her pain permanently a month later. “I tried to hang myself.”

Lynzie’s mother, Angela McConnell, says for most of this school year she’s been very frustrated with the school’s response.

“They kept saying, ‘Well what’s going on at home?’ And I’m like, ‘This is not a home issue. This is a child to child issue. This is a school issue,'” McConnell said.

Finally, in February, she said school counselors and leadership realized that and helped get her child a week’s worth of hospital treatment to deal with all she’s been up against.

When a new round of Instagram accounts attacking Lynzie appeared Monday, McConnell said city police were brought in and Woodland High School acted quickly with a meeting and an investigation. One of the Instagram accounts just created to attack her had more than 100 followers before noon.

“Vice principal told us the girls confessed to what they did,” McConnell said. “They’re suspended.”

District leaders wouldn’t confirm that to FOX40, saying only that there is an ongoing investigation and support being given to the girl involved.

Lynzie plans to try and face another day at school Tuesday.

Her mother said aside from the Instagram account creators, the people signing on and not reporting the content bear responsibility as well.

“Stop, you don’t know what it does to a child,” McConnell said with tears streaming down her face.

For others facing what she has, Lynzie offers hope.

“Just be strong. Fight as much as you can. Get help as soon as possible,” she said.

In Sacramento County alone, 18 children under the age of 18 have committed suicide since 2016. According to the CDC, nearly 10 percent of teenagers between the age of 15 and 19 have attempted it. In 2015 — suicide was the second leading cause of death among Americans between 10 and 24 years old.

 

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